It's all right-angles in the city over Newton's lock. Square foot, Square Mile. The joiner, mason, architect have passed through, each one dangling a plumbline. Build it once, then rake it back to ash and build again.
Down here the river measures twice, cuts once. Bring spirit levels, bring your guillotines and gates, you'll not cut water as it halves this place. Meet it on its own terms, soft and true enough.
Between the builds, a greening, an uncornering. The rivers make a curve of every angle; gentling a lattice, licking sharpness from an edge. They gather leaves and shake out clouds in tunnel mouths.
Welcome them. They change, and wait, and change. Uncoil a path, a monument to those who go at walking pace between the cathedrals of speed. A path means hope; it links new places through an arc of sapling sycamores.
Invite the artist; the unjoiner, cutting out a halved house on each bank. For Newton, keeper of the unlocked Lea, you split the cottage like an apple. Water pulses through, measuring the old familiar drop from hill to estuary.
Bent finger in a London of straight lines, the river beckons to the city, points out the value of a curve and floats on. Easy in its channels, unbiddable; idle under mirrored bridges, waiting for the walls to fall.