Sitting among tree-tops under this northern sun
In a nest of potted flowers,
Touched and tickled by the sweet giddiness
Of heat and height,
My ears caressed by the plong-pee-whitter
Of comfortable Prussian songbirds,
I float, detached in time and space
From home and past,
From sweaty disappointments and unpaid bills.
Nothing matters here.

Unreal city.
You’ll say that’s plagiarism, perhaps.
Two little words, both common and functional.
Joining two common words is hardly theft.

Now take three: the waste land (look: no capitals).
For have we not returned to whence we came?
A dying world under a bankrupt sky;
A world of glittering, twisted logic
And greedy insolence?
A lemming land: a waste land.
The phrase was Eliot’s; the reality shapes all.

The breeze drops, briefly.
Just above my head,
The oak-tops – too regularly standing,
Teutonically precise – are still.

Berlin, 1990