since mansfield left highgate has gone downhill to kentish town. the hero of the hour in the village is cabbage a staffordshire terrier whose ears and tail were severed by a teenage gang to make him fit for fighting on the thirteenth floor of some nowhere block. cabbage fought back and is now in fine fettle and the teens heads have been spiked on betjeman spires for all to see and smile at their severing. on the heath the viaduct pond emerged from the snowstorm to sprout cabbages in honour of the warrior terrier and from the bridge i stare into the depths looking for the bronze back of a spiegel carp. staring back is a gaunt face framed by a stormtrooper helmet with single bullet hole and lavender token. slipped into the pond on a dark night by your former self, that black and white snapshot you found after our third bottle of bleak in the caravan in the morvan. haircut and jacket both cut like a double of a cold war dick walker escaped from the nearby russian attache’s residence a sinister place of concrete walls and barbed wire coils, floodlit at noon like a commercial carp lake in the close season. the heath is still in the hands of winter, the leaves are out but the foxes screech at midnight in the rain and the early may blossom is lost in a sea of pea green. dusk is as long as dawn and as the light goes something is moving in the cabbages.
red brick arch on the birdtable