Early morning in the North Laine


By Andrew Staunton, North Laine resident


Four a.m. and a river of urine
cascades down red-tiled steps ,
followed by rasping reedy voices
from pure Mockney Johnny Depps .
"Come on Bruv, come on, Cuz,
come on, come on PLEASE, Man . . . "
The sharing of a cigarette,
the swigging from a can.

Six a.m. white van doors slide open,
delivering to North Laine hubs,
as recycling wagons recycle
last night’s empties from the pubs.
Smashing and crashing,
glass waves on a metal shore,
if you were asleep before this tide came in,
you won't be, any more.

Seven a.m. a platoon of trolley cases,
being dragged, station bound,
give me a penny for every wonky wheel
I'd have a thousand pound.
The shrill squawk of the seagulls
as they defend their honour,
fighting beak to beak
over last night’s spewed up Doner.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way,
the North Laine is my manor,
got the tee shirt, got the ear plugs
got the Dirty Harry bandanna.
For all the downs, you get the ups,
balance is returned,
in this beating heart of Brighton.
Case against Cacophony ? . . . .Adjourned!


[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 232, January/February 2015]

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