The World Outside this Window

A poem arising from a Wandering Words commission to make some writing in response to the Lordswood area of Medway

At the Lordswood Cafe’


Cafes can be lonely places. But what a place

to watch the world go by! The world is trooping past

this window, ordinary people, three white youths

deep in conversation, an Asian woman, headscarf close,

an Asian woman, hair loose and free

a black guy brisk, lunch in hand

a Nepalese mother, children in tow

a laughing girl, red hair and geometric skirt…


The plants displayed on the pavement sing

of other places – South African rudbeckias,

fuchsias, geraniums, Himalayan poppies –

gathered by botanists across wild seas

ploughed by ships, artists, Captains;

maps drawn and re-drawn again and again.


Pictures on these walls advertise London,

New York, Paris, Rome; and the guy with the nice eyes

fries beef burgers to the sound of hip-hop

on the radio, brings me tea whilst

I sit on a chrome chair on a laminated table

travelling the world.