Big Ben's Hours

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It would be empty and ashes without her
Hand and delight; fascinated
Eyes crinkling in pleasure
At newly-printed pages of impressions.
A gay mood permeates two souls
Sifting sites and sights and sounds;
Fresh recruits among tourist battalions,
Rolling through the city's heart
Weaponless; vulnerable,
In our crimson doubledecker.

The skins of the narrow,
Winding streets glisten;
Bright rays gladden hearts
Defying the mist of London town.

A throbbing panorama unfolds
To the turning of giant wheels:
The changeable profile
Of traffic, green parks, Westminster;
The sturdy bridges;
The gray pallor of the Thames
And the good ship, Belfast, proudly afloat;
The bloody tower, many mews;
Neat lines of town houses
And gaunt newspaper and financial rows.

Sensations feed warming consciousness
To the easy jostling of the time machine;
Its front and side glass access history,
Split by arcane waysides;
Crumbling Roman ruins of two millenia
Become youngsters as romantics muse.

The sands of the relentless hourglass
Ebb with the tide
Of the choppy stream nearby;
The black arrows on the
Big pale face
Whirl away the unspent day,
Savored with a bubbly lunch
Of a friendly pub
And a sparkling dinner wine.

Mysterious drama unfolds:
Eyes lock; smiles perpetuate;
Laughter sallies forth
At the slightest provocation;
Inner fires glow in the darkness.
Subdued bodies and lazy voices
Quiet; sedated by jet lag
And comforting closeness;
A pair of wandering madcaps,
Salvaging today
From yesterday and tomorrow
Before Big Ben runs down.