“Without You” – Adrian Henri

‘Without you every morning would feel like going back to work after a holiday’

 

 

Without you every morning would feel like going back to work after a holiday,

Without you I couldn’t stand the smell of the East Lancs Road,

Without you ghost ferries would cross the Mersey manned by skeleton crews,

Without you I’d probably feel happy and have more money and time and nothing to do with it,

Without you I’d have to leave my stillborn poems on other people’s doorsteps, wrapped in brown paper,

Without you there’d never be sauce to put on sausage butties,

Without you plastic flowers in shop windows would just be plastic flowers in shop windows,

Without you I’d spend my summers picking morosley over the remains of train crashes,

Without you white birds would wrench themselves free from my paintings and fly off dripping blood into the night,

Without you green apples wouldn’t taste greener,

Without you Mothers wouldn’t let their children play out after tea,

Without you every musician in the world would forget how to play the blues,

Without you Public Houses would be public again,

Without you the Sunday Times colour suppliment would come out in black-and-white,

Without you indifferent colonels would shrug their shoulders and press the button,

Without you they’s stop changing the flowers in Piccadilly Gardens,

Without you Clark Kent would forget how to become Superman,

Without you Sunshine Breakfast would only consist of Cornflakes,

Without you there’d be no colour in Magic colouring books,

Without you Mahler’s 8th would only be performed by street musicians in derelict houses,

Without you they’d forget to put the salt in every packet of crisps,

Without you it would be an offence punishable by a fine of up to £200 or two months’ imprisonment to be found in possession of curry powder,

Without you riot police are massing in quiet sidestreets,

Without you all streets would be one-way the other way,

Without you there’d be no one to kiss goodnight when we quarrel,

Without you the first martian to land would turn round and go away again,

Without you they’d forget to change the weather,

Without you blind men would sell unlucky heather,

Without you there would be

no landscapes/no stations/no houses

no chipshops/no quiet villages/no seagulls

on beaches/no hopscotch on pavements/no night/no morning/
there’d be no city no country

Without you.

 

Check out more Adrian Henri.

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