Passing almost unnoticed behind locked gates at Willesden Junction, this cobbled road is a relic of the past. The road originally led down to cattle pens where cows and other livestock could arrive or depart by train. It was constructed circa 1880 when, apart from Harlesden, much of the surrounding area was farmland. Today its 140 year old cobbles are used by Network Rail to gain access to the lineside. Who’s to say it won’t still be there unchanged in another 140 years – or until the cows come home?

Gathered clouds
Marble desert skies
Latent with promise
The gift of life
For parched earth
Suspended over the dusty road

But only the traffic rumbles
No lightning
No thunder
To give pause

Then marble melts red
In night’s furnace
Cooling the heat
The promise has gone
Life again turns to dust
Beneath cold watchful stars


Martin Addison, 10/10/2016