Ghosts Of The Kilburn High Road


The ferns turn to gold and it feels warm for the time of year as we climb to the first view point at Creag Meagaidh. Pearl growls at the man already there and I call her back to put her on the lead. ‘Don’t yer worry about that my dear,’ he says, ‘I’m twice divorced and used to getting growled at.’

A waft of alcohol flows by and the man’s accent takes me straight to Kilburn in North West London. A place where we make friends for life and enjoy the good things this city has to offer. The place where we sleep light on Friday night, alert to the dreaded roar of men who want to kill when the night clubs empty. Our many phone calls to the police and the relief when another life has been saved. The despair when after the silence we here the sirens and the yellow triangle appears on the pavement appealing for witnesses to the latest murder. It is this dark side of the city that drives us towards the last frontier. We are grateful to be here and as we look down over the loch embraced by mountains in the autumn light we say a prayer for those who brave the city life.

At first light on a Kilburn morning
they are already sharing beer
sitting on the steps, eyes haunted
humming ‘It’s a long long way from Clare to here.

© Xenia Tran


Photographs by Xenia Tran, unedited.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA.

In response to dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday #23 – Contemporary Cityscape
(this week’s prompt for prose followed by a short poem was open to poetic interpretation and did not have to be a haibun or contain a haiku)

Daily Prompt: Infuse

Leaving The Grid

I am so grateful I can experience nature. It makes me feel part of something I know I have always been a part of. It is another kind of home coming

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Our companions love walking in places where the only creations are creations of nature. Places where phone signals stay away in a faraway grid.

I love walking in nature where our human companions become more like us. Peaceful, living in the moment, in harmony with the magic around us. They become more instinctive, just like us.

We are all tuning into the same energies, listen to the same bird song, smell the same smells. We become aware when we are being watched, not just by the trees. Deer stand like statues with angelic eyes, watching us glide by.

Seamus, Ruby and I stop and sniff the ferns, the leaves, the soil. I love the smells of the forest so much I roll around and carry them with me.

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I am so grateful I can experience nature. It makes me feel part of something I know I have always been a part of. It is another kind of home coming.

I was rehomed from a shelter just under a year ago and before then I had never been taken for a walk. I took my first tentative steps in a world which seemed overwhelming at first.

Guided by Seamus, Ruby and our human companions I learned how to run, how to catch a ball. I overcame my fear of shadows, of the sea, of the gulls and of the hairy dogs whose eyes I could not see.

I feel at home in my new pack, safe and loved. My confidence has grown, day by day.

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Being out here in nature, where I can roll and carry the smells of the wilderness, has been the most profound home coming of all.

This is the place where I have found myself. I have come home to me.

This is what I pray every dog in a rescue shelter will one day experience and every soul who feels a bit lost. I pray they can live with a loving pack and find themselves again in nature.

I send you all so much love,


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