Let us go then, you and I,
To the land of pickled herrings and eel pie,
Let us go down Billingsgate streets,
Past Harry Ramsden’s and kitchen heats,
Let us go where the herring talk of Michelangelo,
Where the plaice have no sense of place
And the cod come and go.
Let us hear the mermaids bartering for the morning’s catch,
Let us bolt our door against giant octopus, turn the latch,
Let us sing of silver flying fish leaping through the waves,
Metallic sprats convulsing in the nets like dancers at raves.
Sedate carp in green lily pools,
Sun-slanting rainbow trout with their hidden jewels.
And at New Covent Garden the fish wives chatter,
The men from Birds Eye shut them down,
It is no great matter.
Billingsgate, Hastings, Margate, The Thames Oyster beds.
The mermaids sing their siren songs, it is over our heads.
Copyright © Max Scratchmann. All Rights Reserved