An Imaginary Peckham

Will Hatchett

Just imagine if the rain did not stop
I would  float through life like a shadow
glide down a ribbon of light to the shops
I would enjoy going to work in my canoe.
Rye Lane Peckham would be my Amazon.
Like a modern hunter gatherer
I would paddle to Morrisons
to scan its watery aisles for treasure.
No clock but dawn would draw me from my bed.
With my lethal blow-pipe or dart gun
I would haunt the tributaries of Nunhead
Hunting for dinner – dangerous but fun.
To perfect my journeys,  a new craft
her planks bent to the shape of my dreams.
She would be sleek and graceful, not like a raft
flit like a kingfisher down narrow streams.
Smoothed like glass with sandpaper and plane
she would be the turquoise queen of the rain.

Rye Lane is a busy shopping street in Peckham, South London, with a market. Morrisons is a large grocery store.

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

Main Location:

Rye Lane, London SE15, UK

Other locations:

Rye Lane in Peckham, South London

Image by Derek Harper, licensed under Creative Commons.