Wildlife lies behind the land
like seventeenth-century wallpaper
behind Edwardian parlour print
behind a buff matt finish.
Infant elephant ears poke up
the pavement. Shark gills ripple
as wind slashes the polythene
of a puddle. Eyes flash on
Victorian brick owls when
the Top Floor Flat gets home first
on the kind of winter nights that
make sardines push doors into
square whales to hear opera in fabric
ribs washed up on the South Bank.
This is all the world coming together,
joining zoology to architecture
to history to paper:
right here, right now.
And here is all the world falling
away again, its wall as heavy as
the mammoths still pounding
the sedge beneath your feet.