“Touched by some indefinite romance, cool and deep”
Today upon a walk to Little Venice
I encountered the previous home of Alexander Herzen,
marked by a blue plaque on a stately building.
Not knowing much about Russian writers or socialism,
I walked on.
I did not pay it too much attention
just stored his name away for future use
and google when bored.
I would much rather focus
on my attempt at conversation
with my teenage daughters
whom I dragged here on this walk,
or on the barges lined up neatly in the water
with their mad stack of belongings
stored on their decks
- especially this one
with its Buddha, pot plants and bicycle
or the one with the old haggard man
just sitting staring into space,
not to mention the intriguing puppet theatre
What stories do these boats tell?
Words never written in history books,
float down the canals like swans
white feathers shining briefly in the light
- no blue plaques
just the water
to remember them by