Tour coaches passing up and down
Near where I work in London Town
Are full of tourists gazing out
To see what London’s all about.

Each coach contains, quite on their own,
A guide up front with microphone,
Telling the tales of days gone by
To create a sense of history.

Passengers on soft, upholstered seats
Amidst the air choked traffic’d streets
In cool, air conditioned state,
Senses relaxed and separate.

‘The Bank of England’s now in range’
‘And close to it the Royal Exchange’
‘The Mansion House lies over thence’
‘It is the Lord Mayor’s residence.’

A laugh resounds at this portrayal
Of olde English – its never known to fail;
The Americans have least restraint
Everything they view as quaint.

The coaches stop on Tower Hill,
‘We’ll see the Tower,’ so out they spill
To wait in groups, with idle stares
Indifferent to the hawkers’ wares.

Camcorders roaming quite at ease
To capture flitting memories,
Hoovering up the sights and culture
Before lunch at the Boar and Vulture.

A constant stream, there seems no end
As round St Pauls the parties wend,
A money bag on each round waist;
With days mapped out, there is no haste.

Cameras pointed here and there
Moving upwards in the air
To that favourite towering dome
A ‘must’ for each to take back home.

And with a guide who will explain
With quips and jokes as they entrain.
There are so many famous places,
And all day long, a blur of native faces.

The coach load begins to take some form
Repeated viewings make the norm.
‘That lady with the ginger hair’
‘Sat opposite at lunch,’ ‘sshh, don’t stare.’

A break – ‘ten minutes, no more,’
‘Please be back at half past four’
.’Here are some coins that you can borrow’
‘Yes, Scotland next – an early call tomorrow.’

I walk along to Cannon Street
To catch my train to my retreat;
They are here, and I was there,
In Paris, Rome or anywhere.

August 1992