“… Over and over again we have seen that there is in this country another power than that which has its seat at Westminster.”—Clement Attlee

The river sings a duet with the mist
as gulls gavotte around the overflow
and peck at City scum; two Freemen row
across the dawn, five plastic bottles drift
seawards. The river’s left the beach undressed
again. A dead rat pitches to and fro
on green-fringed ripples. While the tide is low,
mudlarks mob the shore at hope and sift
frisking the sand for swag, and as the sun
slides pinkly in to light up bankers’ reach,
a host of windows seize the light. The gods
command the brokers’ choir to rise as one
and sing a song of money: the plundered beach
is deafened as the trading floor applauds.

Marta Zamarska, Winter Impression I, oil on canvas, 2014 Used by permission.