LION

I am lion

You see me as stone, I see you as stone heart, cold and somewhat foolish. I am the left-lion where humans meet on their first date. There is no counting how many girls and boys curse the lover who failed to arrive. I wish they could have my lions heart, to replace their broken hope.

Let’s go for a walk, be by my side. We do not have to go far today. Left by the council house, up the hill along the tram lines. On the right is a ‘human glitter shop’ – Sparkling carbon for thirty-six thousand pounds. In Africa, where my spirit lives, there are millions of carbon rocks. The strange human believes the firework crystals are rare; intelligence is a stranger to them. I listen to beggars asking for the price of coffee. Kids are counting penny pocket money. Mothers are giving their last penny for an ice-cream.

In the same shop, I see watches costing the price of a year’s wages. Tick tock time has no value to an unhappy heart. There is no way the metal and springs can be worth the price of time. It’s the name; the price is in the name. I hear the evidence as I sit on my pedestal ‘I paid triple-X for this, it’s a name’ ‘Look at her she’s wearing a name’ ‘I’m saving up to buy a name.’

How do I know about money? I listen to everything as I sit guardian to the council house. Dealer, lover, thief, beggar, lying drunk, all is watched by my cold eyes, all listened to by my silent ears. And my spirit roams the city because there is nothing hidden from me. In passing conversations, hatred, love, plots, plans, conspiracy. All enter nothing lost; I have known millions of people, wealthy to pauper. They all cry the same tears, hearts bleed the same blood, have the same fears.

The citizens are proof of the different clothes shops, all types accounted for, from Haute to tat. Friday and Saturday nights; out they come, dressed and ready to drink. Immaculate at seven – Bedraggled, sick and penniless at drunken midnight heaven. Greetings, names, friends, arguments, enemy, fights (girls are the worse) and a taxi home. The lies I hear, the lies believed, anything for an evening of illusional romance. I know about the shallowness of human love.

I miss nothing; all is a stone lions prey. And talking about prayer; there is no accounting the number of prayers. The shunned lovers, broken hearted, ‘I pray for rain’ ‘I pray he’ll listen to me’ ‘I pray she gets well’ The memories of years past ‘I remember when we met by this lion’ ‘I wish I’d never seen this lion’ It all begins with ‘Lets’ meet at the left-lion’ and too often ends in a drunken argument.

I have been touched by many celebrities, watched Brian Clough (my favourite) seen wartime bombers miss their target and my magnificent square is broken up by urban traitors. I sigh in sorrow as big wheel spins, and fake beaches degrade the city. There is jubilation when winning teams and Olympians return cups and medals in hand. Waves to our queen, heat wave crazy days all watched by my stone grey eyes.

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