And if I thought of paradise I used to think it was found in the streets I used to
Because of course these were the settings in which I found myself
It's there that the language admitted it's love for me and I, my love for it.
Even though its words never quite sat well on my tongue despite my French kisses to know its sweet taste.
Who would have known at the beginning of the romance what a
pulling and pushing
back and forth
the relationship would be?
And if I thought of paradise, I used to think it was found in this city too.
In the grit and fog, pollution and smog that fills our lungs with delicious adrenalin.
I found it in the steadfastness of its bridges, sharp lines of its towers
and insatiable appetite for our seconds, minutes and hours.
London you've been a beast,
but paradise is found in you because anyone that survives your ruthlessness loves you with the same devotion Roman candles in cathedrals flicker with hope to its God.
Now when I think of paradise I see it as that hopeful candle exchange of light
and it illuminates how my beloved cities could ever be described as a moveable feast.
Because paradise is not found in the streets or places or time-stamped embraces that could ever be pinpointed on a map.
Paradise is found in the pockets of your mind
recesses of your heart
and is easily spilled out on your lap
Now when I think of paradise I realise there was an omnipresent glow that was always there.
Ever was Ever will be I realise that paradise is not in the individuals or others But is found somewhere in the space between where love lives So please mind the gap Because that's the eternal paradise that lives, commutes and breathes in me.
This poem was inspired by the idea of carrying the beauty of places with us wherever we go even if physical access to them may continue to be restricted this year. Was also prompted to write this after seeing 'A Portable Paradise' by a poet Roger Robinson on the London Underground a few times. Loved that its words have continued to 'travel' with me.
If you're itching to travel or get some calm further afield. Take a moment to yourself and remember that there is 'paradise' always within you. 🏝️
Be safe. Be well. 🙏🏾
To see the poem performed visit my Instagram @riah_writes