diamond geezer

 Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Carnival comes but once a year
A day for the kids, a day for all
A million mass in Notting Hill
To dance and eat and drink and revel

A hundred ordinary streets transformed
By music, cheer and takeaway cartons
Police in twos and threes on every corner
Ignore the scare stories and enjoy

At each gateway a welcoming leaflet
Here's a map, and Stay Aware
Please follow the one-way system inside
Then W-Eleven is your oyster

The maze of streets goes on forever
Which way to wander blindly next?
Some roads blocked off, a "Safety Zone"
Residents watch over guarded barriers

They alternate, the trucks and dancers
Huge thumping rigs of soundsystem stacks
Ads for tropical juice hanging down
DJ in command, conjuring the crowd

A flock of feathers follows behind
Blazing bright, took weeks to sew
Headdresses, beads and tassels
Gyrating in joyful communion

Stay behind the string please
The crowd keeps pace to either side
With each pause they pause, then on
Round the circuit in inching bursts

Communal spirit is in full effect
Sway if you like, or stand and smoke
The decibels drill, the steel bands pass
Share a photograph and tell your friends

Countless stalls cook flaming meat
Chicken, more chicken, patties and goat
Serve up with sauce and rice and peas
Guzzle with dripping fingers until full

Two beers for five, five beers for ten
A scooped coconut thrown in the gutter
Vuvuzelas for sale in yellow and green
Come inside and use our toilet for a quid

"You look like you like glitter"
The bejewelled ladies are insistent
A willing torso wanders over for decoration
His drinking partner hovers as yet uncertain

Teeming crowds, younger than older
A host of West Indians in their element
But all races covered, London is Open
And where else would you rather be?

The local shopkeepers have gone away
Glass frontages temporarily boarded over
There's nothing for you to see here
Back Tuesday, or maybe next week

A coach filled with coppers pulls up
Dressed in black, they're going to bake
Each removes a huge holdall from below
Prepared for whatever, whenever

Fourteen year-old stabs fifteen year-old
Troublemakers streaming in, arrests made
Authorities assaulted, abused and spat at
"I'm very disappointed," says MP

Most saw nothing amiss, only universal delight
Others saw unwanted crime and unnecessary costs
A 'full review' is ordered, as every year
But if they ever shifted it, they'd kill it

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