A combination of sand from the Sahara and bellowing Industrial fumes from the east, combined with car exhaust emissions, has led to two days of fog reminiscent of the smogs that plagued London in the 50’s and which became a pervasive memory  for my relatives who lived there.




She talked often about the fog


The ‘Pea Souper’, ‘London Particular’,


That smothered all the city streets


With corrosive smog, a ghastly miasma.




How granddad had shuddered to his knees,


His lungs corrupted, wheezing his last breath,


How fourteen tons of Flouride destroyed him;


Some said twelve thousand were killed that week.




She claimed it slipped through keyholes


Leaving residues, foul sulphurous smears,


‘Look’, she said, ‘it even stained his photograph,


Handing him to us, yellow and listless.




He was riddled with purulent bronchitis


Lingered until the 5th of December.


It made our skin crawl to look at him,


His angular face, jaundiced with disease.




She talked often about the Fog,


And how she had lived through two world wars


The strange old lodger who lived next door,


Who strangled cats, or so she claimed.

I imagined the bellowing chimneys


Of Battersea, Bankside and Kingston,


Six million chimneys belching out their load


And tried to imagine, growing old.






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s