Hertford Lock to Bow Lock, 27.5 miles, or 44.3 kilometres of water, Shaped and melded to man, Square cut concrete canal. Finished in 1771 but ongoing - Building-on-building-on.
Floodplain functioning as footholds for sky-scrapers, With scrappers skirting below, Smithing and smelting and building-on. The water is clear to the bottom - You can see the drink cans carelessly tossed,
Bobbing on the bottom of the bars like drunks. And there is a thin gloss of oil kissing the surface, Coating everything with a hallucinogenic sheen, Pink, purple, green. Moored at the sides are boats. House boats, too thin for open
water. Too rusted to be safe, but who cares for safe? Peeling and decaying but never sinking. They are too proud for that. On the borders are paths, stretching out to infinity, Gravel, then brick, then tile,
then concrete. Giving way at last to the tarmac road. Things are left on the paths - Bikes, bones, bobble hats, Canal-dogs, fishing lines, seagull droppings, Firewood, lunch wrappers, a ring.
A ring of twin dolphins, twisting together, Nose to nose - each nose smudged with earth, Face down in the dirt and forgotten. All along the canal are people too, Young-old, rich-poor, lost-found.
They don't have letter boxes or laptops, Showers are optional but nuclear energy is not. Gypsies wrapped in white mariners' wool, Sure-footed in cracked boots. Comrades connected carelessly together,
Each craft a kingdom. Navigate the Lee - Feel it undulate and lap, Yawning out to London. Hear the cranes and herons, The majesty of them all - Clanking and cawing to the winds.