Soul Propriete No. 3
As I stand at the large, half-opened window in the convent,
facing ancient bits of walls and new Victorian additions,
the voice of some clerk in London, whose duty was
to mark the beginnings and ends of properties
speaks to me in the sunlight.
His statement, etched in stone, until the last days of London,
clearly show the sole proprietor.
"Half the Thickness of This Wall is in Paddington Parish"
How exact the English were then, which they are not now.
How comforting was the Georgian mind for details.
1806, 1826, 1866, 1886, 1906, 1966, 2006, 2012
His voice clears the centuries with clear early 19th century
feet and inches. Does Paddington Parish really care about
half a thickness of wall? Taxes? Wall maintenance? Sole proprietor
of a closed alleyway which no one sees
Except me and a robin, clearly not interested in the mind of
this maker. But, I am. Wondering at the great interests of
the new industrial world breaking into new views of walls
and ownership across England, those satanic mills
conquering small alleyways and arches.
There is still conquest in these words, an old lettering
a new idea of propriete mocked much later by Dickens,
who most likely walked this way at least once or twice.
Who knows? The footsteps of the past leading me, as
I stare at a wall separating sole from soul.
My ideas are elsewhere, but the clerk's words ring out
reminding me of the little world I am leaving for awhile,
a world I shall not miss that much, or at least that is
what I think today, listening to the cheeky robin
mocking the past and reminding me that even
The birds of the air have nests. I know Who is in charge.