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The Road

The Road

When Covid hit in 2020, the world stopped for London's Portobello Antique Market. Its sea of people became an urban desert.

Daniel says "it’s dead" but Antonio says


He and his chisel and his resin, ivory, inlaid marquetry,

emptied onto the pavement

for the future of another life.

We watch shouting, banging, loading,

a lorry races, a man races, a tear races.

His friend has taken everything in the shop and

all that remains is crumpled paper.

Wall shadows of vanished cabinets,

that fluff of no known origin in the corner.

Daniel says "there was once a sea of white here—"

a reflection of the sun in the sky on the soul.

Hoards in white t-shirts stained, splattered with blues and

reds and tangerines.

Violins and teenage drums.

Spilled ochre rice

tahini slipping on cobbles

shining in the bronze light.

Daniel says "Admiral Vernon, Dolphin, Roger’s—"

London’s cold bazaars


hawkers, shysters, brilliants, cheats.

World Experts of beautiful and twisted things.

Voices now swallowed up in this desolate Spring.

We watch a sea of grey

pavement reflecting stone sky

stone faces

stone clothes.


Heads down


concealed mouths

hurry past,

don’t stop.

Daniel says, “They’re not coming back.”

Antonio says—


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