Tiddy Oggy

A great wall bars entrance

to the hidden dormitory just inside,

as porters ogle at my luggage clad naiveté.

I leave my luggage,

turn north and walk

past pools of people, gliding

making room for my intrusion.

We disperse like smells perfumed in air,

sticky Belgium waffles encased in melting

fetters of ice cream and quaggy strawberries:

4 £ 50 p.

Scuzzy and unctuous spices flicker by

while reused peanut oil sizzles in an obsidian wok

standing inside a glaring red truck.

Prismatic tapestries sway in the wind

dappled with light-searing sequins

and flecked whimsical sparkle.

Children run underfoot from their mothers

nicking a coveted peach.

They rest underneath a marble cat,

mouse just out of reach,

all rubbing the delicate gausey peach flesh

across shining pink cheeks.

Sheathed in the open-air market I am impervious,

my disquietude obscured by blaring abstraction:

ivories devouring free-range sinew

enveloped by flakey, buttery pastry.


I stay until it closed at 5,

the illusion fragmenting before me.

I watch as stands ripen into dullness

and my quaint oasis disappears.

I walk back to the daunting wall and enter,

a peach in my hand.

1 succulent bite

and tomorrow I will return.

A poem about Christ’s College and the city of Cambridge in England.


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