The Clock On A Wall of Farringdon Gardens, August 1971

© By Gerald Dawe

Click Here for Artist's page in Archive

I am the clock on a wall
of Farringdon Gardens. I
stopped dead at 7.30. They

tried to take me away
from the burning. I remember
the whooshing smoke.

But in the rush
I was left here
as if nothing had happened.

Part of my task is
not to get panicked.
I’m regular and reliable

and wake each morning
for work –
a bulwark of my society,

but when the fires
started and the windows
cracked like ice

I was snatched up
and out under this sky
to sit defenceless,

my springs and coils
and deep chimings stopped
at 7.30.

So if you come
across me in your reading –
a photo perhaps in some

glossy history –
remember the blackened walls
and roofless houses,

of what went on
before the three monkeys
and chipped mantelpieces,

in the backs of
sculleries and in front
bedrooms, before

the televisions
landed in tidily grown
gardens, think

just a little
of my time watching
these different people

who left their lives
in my hands
sitting on a wall of Farringdon Gardens.

© Gerald Dawe, The Clock On A Wall of Farringdon Gardens, August 1971, 1985, complete text, The Lundys Letter, 1985, The Gallery Press.

Gerald Dawe’s poem here refers to a street in Ardoyne that was gutted by fire during riots following the first internment raids in 1971.

Further Infomation