“Ships In The Night”

Eastside   (after a field trip with Rosetta Art Centre to The Royal Docks. Autumn 2014)

Just still you were

And we found you

We smelt you

And sat down by your concrete bank

Overlooked by new-builds of towers

Perched on subterranean car parks

And noticed ships in bottles,

Trophies of the sea in front windows

Under nets.


A walk away through brown bushes

And scraggy pigeons

Not the sea gulls we expected

We held our noses by a lock

With its green wood and Keep Out signs

And open-mouthed

Wondered at its ancientness

What it meant to its new neighbours

Who pushed by with pushchairs

And Valium eyes

With sights on different horizons.


We reached the red brick bridge

By roads named after fishing ports

And placed the site

Of Harland and Wolff

Of a bygone monster

Of industry

And somehow saw workers in kerchiefs

With Woodbines balanced in toothless mouths.


A droning ship in the sky

Coursed into City Airport

A Scandinavian container lorry

Vibrated the metal under our feet

We looked again into the water

Saw no movement

No men, no boats, no shouts, no funnels

No cranes or moving parts

We touched the red brick as though kissing Madonna’s feet

And quietly slipped away.



*****************************************************************by Gillian Lawrence







Up Your Street issue 26

Mon 24th June free noon-2pm. Up Your Street hosts “Lea Bridge Seniors” at Lea Bridge Library E107PH.  Rasheeqa  of HedgeHerbs  guests.

                               £3 for Silver Screen members (£6 otherwise. Join on the spot! Membership is free.) Noon. Hackney PictureHouse “The Pink Panther”.

                               free noon-2pm Wood Street Library Forest Road, E17 “Learn to use charcoal to draw”.

                              free beginning today at KPMG building 15 Canada Square in Canary Wharf, exhibition of art works from Rosetta Art Centre, Stratford E15 until 30th August 2013. Gillian Lawrence has an oil painting on view from the foyer bridge! There is no public access to the actual ‘gallery’ site…. yet.

Thurs 27th June £3 7pm “Beasts Of the Southern Wild” (93 mins) screening by Haringey Independent Cinema at West Green Learning Centre, Philip Lane N17.

Fri 28th June free 7pm Leyton Gallery artists meeting at William IVth Pub opp. Tesco E10 to discuss future plans. All welcome.

Sat 29th June free  2pm Hoxton Hall Shoreditch  Launch of “Audio History Tour of Shoreditch”. Other festivities and no need to book.

Sun 30th June free but bring some shares 11.15-1.30pm Community Breakfast at The Mill E17

                           free noon-4pm Vestry House Museum E17 Annual Garden Party incl. Hedge Herbs & Wholistic Apothecary Stall .

Mon 1st July  £3 members of Silver Screen. Noon. Hackney PictureHouse noon. “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.


Wed 3rd July free 6-7.30pm . Written work reading and poetry-sharing at The Centre for  Better Health 1a Darnley Rd E5. Tea money required.

                           free noon Art Café at Whitechapel Art Gallery  E1 (and on 24th July at 2pm) to learn about the free art course for seniors at Birkbeck University in Stratford E15. book through Eventbrite. Great venues, great course.

Thurs 4th July free 10am “Soft” textiles and materials exhibition at the Mill E17. RAGWORKS  is on display.

Sat 6th July free Fete at St John at Hackney by Narrow Way Hackney