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Black and White

Ealing, London, 1970

In black and white, what ties these two -

old undergrad, and soon to be,

the neckties unlike those around,

on underground, or flower power,

though longer hair, a nod towards

the shoulder length, too far a dare,

as bedsit swop, YMCA?


The lad was fashioned by his class,

though pupils need not know his form

(would Sixth sense tell where he was from?),

as teacher filling gap before

the ivories of academe,

an ivy league in US terms,

though Michaelmas his first to be.


How grim a London terrace stance

from Zambia, the hostel chance

to sit exam in third attempt.

Affection through wide range of age

was solely due to heritage,

both Wesley men and trained in kind,

expected fellowship when strange.


So summit meet, some weekday greet,

these journeymen, apprenticeships,

cold light of day on Bond Street roof,

though not the west end city beat;

yet bond remained throughout the year,

as by degrees they travelled on,

two Methodists, cause, common song.

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2 Comments


Nigel Smith
Nigel Smith
Mar 01, 2023

Love everything about this! Is that your good self in the photo, and did you both keep in touch?

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Stephen Kingsnorth
Stephen Kingsnorth
Mar 01, 2023
Replying to

It is, but I fear not; too many strangers become friends, but slip away again, as more strangers cross one's path...

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