The Lord Nelson

Will Hatchett

The palms of Queens Road parade raggedly
as if in some listless Mediterranean
of pay-day loans and graffiti
bruised concrete, a pale yellow sun.
Trafalgar Street leads to the Old Kent Road
where each pub could have been Henry Cooper's gym.
You can almost smell his aftershave
‘splash it on all over’, they called him.
Through the frosted glass of The Lord Nelson
like a sallow ghost, see the faded potman
his fingers twitch for a cork-tipped Rothmans
he is shadow boxing with Charlie Chaplin.
The pub seems trapped in an eternal night
No-one would enter; not even the daylight.

This poem is in Will Hatchett's collection 63, a London bus journey. You can read it here on Scribd.

Main Location:

Lord Nelson Pub, 386 Old Kent Road, Southwark, London

The Lord Nelson pub on the Old Kent Road in Southwark, London

Image by Alex McGregor, licensed under Creative Commons.