Drawing by Jo Toffee

The Night People
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Blue neon clock fingers sneaking past the stars
Extinguish the last fuse of day.
Through black rain-wet streets rush bleary-eyed cars
Stuffed with revellers drunk and blasé.

In Soho stained waiters bang dustbins around,
Commissionaires yawn into tweed,
As empty and echo hose yesterday down
The night people slide inbetween.

Sallow dudes with spotlight eyes
Pour laughter sauce on ice.
Velvet dolls with brandied smiles
Lean close with mouths of dice.
The tunnel band plays studded drums
And spits electric spears
As the dancers kick like marionettes
Through the smokescreen atmospheres.
Dance on pale harlequins of night
Lest you scratch your gilded fears.

The paint peeling tea stall by Charing Cross bridge
Attracts lonely moths to its lamps.
In corners of archways on a benches oak ridge
Lie newspapered wine-softened tramps;
Pushed on by policemen and queueing for soup
Evading the world's outstretched glove,
But one pain they share with the jewelled ghost troupe
Both searching for some kind of love.

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