London my poetic muse
London means a lot to me. I have spent half of my life here in self-exile, more than that I spent in my homeland. I have worked here making an honest living without fear. It is the birthplace of my son and grandson. I have loved and lost in this city. I have marched on its streets in many a demonstration. Deep in my solitude I came closer to my mother language. It has inspired many poems I scribbled on pieces of paper travelling in the Tube and walking the streets. A few of them have been translated into English, one being The Peacock in Walpole Park Ealing. That peacock is me.
My London is a small cave in a corner of planet earth. I have never been on the London Eye, but I wrote a poem imagining riding it even before it was formally opened to the public. The poem has imagery like this: Over there we sat on a bench wondering together. In that back garden a new flower blossomed on my family tree. Those roads there showed the way to me- a lost outsider. There lies my murshid -teacher- awake in his perpetual dream. This refers to Marx.
It is hard to personify London, but its image lurks in the eye of my mind. When I address it in my poems, I think I talk to myself reminiscing past associations. After all these years I still find it a familiar stranger. Going by Samuel Johnson's oft-quoted words I hope I will never be tired of London; though I find life here a bit unbearable some times.