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Snapshot, pose!

By: Arya Sharma

About The Poem

I wrote this poem as a means of capturing London as the busy, bustling place it tends to be. I think it can be easy to feel lost or insignificant in a city like this, but I think feeling small can sometimes feel liberating and relaxing. That a place as busy as London can be relaxing in this way is the paradox I hope to convey in this poem.

The Poem

Holborn station and its labyrinth

of escalators. Stare down at your feet

as you rush up them to avoid tripping.


So many strangers with the most important things

to do and they simply cannot stop, their steps ask,

Don’t you know who I am?


The cars are so eager to lurch forwards and splatter

someone into the road. Swarms of street soldiers.

The blue of the station, the red of a newspaper vendor.


The umbrella stand and the fruit stall stare each other down

aggressively, the buses watch and cheer fight, fight, fight!

London is good at raising the stakes: do or die or get splattered!


Picture hurling the oranges and overripe bananas across the street,

the umbrellas opening up in different colours to form a rainbow shield,

and laugh to yourself quietly. The street lights glare even in the day.


Archetypal visitors. Businessmen in their grey suits, refusing

to brush shoulders with you, students pulling lanyards over

their heads. Flimsy, pale blue masks clinging to people’s ears.

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