The Unfinished City

On a mighty river, too wide to ford,
An Italian city begins to grow,
Until Boudica did raze her to the ground.
But, like a Phoenix, she rises,
And, with a new wall to defend her,
She begins to flourish.

Angles and Danes,
Bring violence and bloodshed,
As all fight for their piece of her.
During a calm, her bridge is rebuilt,
And she spreads southward,
To a newly fortified south.

A Christmas King, builds a Norman tower,
A tower for a city, a capital city.
Moving westward, now, she grows and expands.
Westminster, palace of palaces.
A city within a county,
A county within many.

Disaster, as Death of Black kills a third,
Before an inferno scorches her soul.
But, from the ashes, a new link is forged with the south;
A bridge, bearing her name, more secure than ice.
But, then the South did burn,
With a massacre on the bridge.

Shakespeare, assassins and death; all came to her,
As the darkest plague swept the city.
Her population decimated, with no sign of a cure,
Until a fire, the greatest fire,
Burning four days and four nights,
A saviour of the strangest kind.

Rebuilding begins with a masterpiece,
A monument to worship, for all time.
The largest city the world has known,
Too full, for any more?
Destitution and crime, such crime as to wonder,
Can it be stopped by Runners?

With chaos and congestion above,
Work begins beneath,
As Tunnel Rats try to save her,
With steam-powered machines.
And while she plays host to the world,
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha becomes Windsor.

Peace returns, but she is different.
Her scars are deep and open,
But her wealth and industry aid the healing.
The cobbled streets are juxtaposed with concrete,
As new buildings, overwhelm the old;
The Cathedral is being choked.

The blessed peace is soon shattered,
As the sky darkens, once again.
The great bell is silenced,
As an easterly wind brings terror.
Doodlebugs and Rockets;
Fire and Brimstone.

Yet, through it all,
Wren’s monument stands,
Towering above the destruction,
A symbol, uniting her people.
And as misery turns to joy,
The great bell chimes again.

From the ashes, she emerges, broken.
Times are hard and she needs help.
The call goes out, to every corner,
Answered, in time, by a Rush of Wind.
New blood, mixing with her own,
Eventually becoming one.

Homes and factories reach skyward,
While a new stadium, welcomes the world.
And, with the past buried,
A festival: A celebration of Britain.
Soon, though, overshadowed by a soup,
Which kills thousands, in just five days.

Swinging harmonies reign,
Until Troubles disturb the peace.
Riots and strikes bring fear to the city,
Till a grocer’s daughter lights the way.
And, as the city reaps the benefits,
The boom years begin.

A great barrier, restrains the mighty river.
As financiers move to the Hamlets,
And the docks become ports of a different kind.
Yet, while adultery and divorce, spell death for her princess,
Powerful forces whisper of an Easter peace,
As a new millennium approaches.

From jubilation to fear, in a matter of hours,
Her transport lines, destroyed in an instant.
Her people ask: Is anywhere safe?
And she responds, defiant in the face of evil.
The third visit of the world; the greatest of games.
A show of unity against tyranny.

Her streets, no longer paved with gold,
Are a magical labyrinth, linking old with new.
Her past inexorably entwined with the present.
And, still, she continues to evolve and expand.
Eternally changing and adapting,
Yet, always welcoming.

© Daryl G. Morrissey

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