For a brief while during my student days in London I lived at a very desirable address in NW3 – on the Hampstead/Belsize Park borders. Not far from Keats’ beautiful home. Of course my accommodation was a typical student hole with shared facilities, but for a while there I felt I could soar. Here’s another sonnet – I told you I’ve been working hard on poetic form – but some rules are made to be broken…
You called it precarious and spindly, so I stopped
inviting you up dusty stairs,
my isolated bubble-nest at the top
of the world. Forget shared kitchen, bathtub hairs.
Across the hall Ariel made yoghurts live,
while Tosh wrote cleaning rota lists.
I draped white billows over furniture
mouldy, mismatched and grim. I felt the bliss
of my first double bed. Alone.
This attic is forever summer, on the brink
of endless choice, dreams all my own.
A room of pleasing no one but myself and Keats,
the desk where I write Chapter One again,
again, ‘cos time is endless and I’m at peace…
Once in my life I had a posh abode:
an empty shell in the correct postcode.