Song for a City by Katherine Gallagher



Song for a City


Give me a city, glowing

with buildings, busy ̶

fruitful as a field

ready for farming


Give me a city calm within,

that feeds the hungry,

that will shore up

the power of hands.


Give me a city of colours,

tree-mottled, kaleidoscopic from

yellow fires to rosy dens,

arcane and blessed.


Give me a city at ease

with itself, that wears its heart

boldly, that heralds its river

with honour and caring.


Give me a city, open

to the skirr of gatherings,

channelling one generation

to the next.


Give me a city, enduring

and wise; listening

across centuries –

a cunabula of light.




Katherine Gallagher is a widely-published poet resident in London since 1979. She has six full poetry collections, most recently Acres of Light (Arc Publications, 2016) and Carnival Edge: New & Selected Poems (Arc Publications, 2010) – 'its natural territory the exotic and unknown, the fringe and carnivalesque.’ Poetry Review