London I’m Home

by Ansuya Patel

In this city from east to west,
north to south, neon lights cast
a restless gaze.

Tube lines kiss at Kings Cross,
Euston and Waterloo.
I hear the Thames whisper,

linger by my side. I’ll show you
places Greenwich to Westminster,
hold your hand and tell you my tales.

I leap into the bustling activity
from South Bank to Covent Garden,
find my tribe amongst music, art

and architecture. In the hallowed halls
of Tate Modern our souls ignite
through international artists.

In the long legs of Hyde Park I inhale
the roses and listen to the starling’s song.
I meet my people, stretched out

on yoga mats. Their smiles fill me up
like a million hugs. We flow through
through vinyasas under the blue skies

of July. London you send me invites
to theatre, cinema and gigs, tap tap tap
on my credit card. I’m home by

the Serpentine with the swans
and the pigeons cooing. Farsi, Hindi,
Swahili all sing in my ear.

I’m a collector of words and culture.
I can ride on the top deck of a bus,
watch life below like a movie for two

pound fifty. In this city we walk hand
in hand like we all belong. We’re free.
London I’m home.

©Ansuya Patel, 2023

This poem was longlisted as part of the Kinship: Poems Exploring Belonging project. Click here to find out more about the project, and other poems on the longlist here.


Concepts of belonging and community have constantly evolving definitions, and have been at the centre of fierce debate in recent years. The first twenty-three years of the new millennium have seen a rise in rhetoric aimed at those without the voice to argue back, and waves of toxic abuse have proliferated – and genocide. How relevant, then, to unite and raise our voices, to celebrate the rich tapestry of humanity, and to explore the labels we use to identify and express ourselves.

Kinship is a poetry anthology that seeks to provide a platform for marginalised voices, and to celebrate the great diversity and rich variation in the identities of people from around the world and from a huge cross-section of walks of life.

Click here for the anthology of shortlisted poems.