Poem: The Lesson of Lambeth Marsh. By Vic Keegan

Poem: The Lesson of Lambeth Marsh. By Vic Keegan

The Lesson of Lambeth Marsh


I had been searching on and off for years

For a book about Lambeth Marsh of old

But every request ended in tears

For nowhere in the area was it sold

Then in Lower Marsh I was passing the door

Of a bookshop I must have missed before

So I opened the door, not even going in,

But trying to say with an embarrassed grin:

“I don’t suppose you’ve got this Lambeth Marsh book”

He paused then said without a second look

“No” and there followed a pregnant pause

And I wish I had stopped grasping at straws

Then he added in mournful tone:

“But I did write it”

Which stopped me in my tracks

I didn’t know what to say

But it triggered a conversation

About writing the book and the months it took

To trace the copyright of the painting on the cover

Which had been sold on twice in the United States

I left the owner with a soulful look

And I have to admit without buying a book

And things got worse when I got outside

I walked a few steps and could have cried

For as soon as I knew I was all alone

I bought his book on my mobile phone

Amazon had a copy and it was second hand

The deed was done in moments unplanned

A few months later when passing by

Hoping this time to see something to buy

This lovely old shop to my disgust

Had closed its doors, bitten the dust

One more bookshop

For the chop

Killed by people like you and me.

Too myopic to foresee

What the effects of our actions will be.

Buy a whole book of poems by Victor Keegan HERE.

Categories: Culture

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