Born on the Goldhawk Road One
I was born at the tail end of the Goldhawk Road
Which runs through Shepherds Bush
Like an artery,
And in the mid 1960s,
Served as one of the great centres
Of the London Mod movement,
But I was raised in relative gentility
In a ward of nearby South Acton
Whose vast council estate
Is surely the most formidable
Of the whole of West London.
Although my little suburb
Has since become
One of its most exclusive neighbourhoods.
My first school was a kind of nursery
Held locally on a daily basis
At the private residence
Of one Miss Henrietta Pearson,
And then aged 4 years old,
I joined the exclusive
Lycee Francais du Kensington du Sud,
Where I was soon to become bilingual
And almost every race and nationality
Under the sun was to be found
At the Lycee in those days...
And among those who went on to be good pals mine
Were kids of English, French, Jewish, American,
Yugoslavian and Middle Eastern origin.
While my first closest pals were Esther,
The vivacious daughter
Of a Norwegian character actor
And a beautiful Israeli dancer,
And Craig, an English kid like myself,
With whom I remain in contact to this day.
For a time, we formed an unlikely trio:
"Hi kiddy," was Esther's sacred greeting
To her blood brother, who'd respond in kind.
But at some stage, I became a problem child,
A disruptive influence in the class,
And a trouble maker in the streets,
An eccentric loon full of madcap fun
And half-deranged imaginativeness.
("Born on the Goldhawk Road" is a versified version of one much reproduced in various forms throughout my writings, although it bears little resemblance to its original, which first glimpsed the light of day in around 2002. It's undergone much modification since then, including the alteration of all names of people and places for the solemn purpose of privacy.)
Copyright © Carl Halling | Year Posted 2015
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