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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 © | Year Posted 2015

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