The music of Leather Lane


When I walk down Leather Lane I hear music.

It reaches me through open windows high


above the street

the goldsmith’s hammer taps a rhythm

as he rounds a ring on the mandrel

with a metallic staccato pinging





A pendant drill whines and whirrs

up a crescendo, down a diminuendo

and fades away to silence.

This is the stone-setter carving precious

metal seats for diamonds to recline in.


Blue flames whisper

softly they mimic a jet engine

as a mounter solders wires and tubes

with a surgeon’s eye – precise, and steady hand

A quenching hiss announces that

the danger of hot metal (seared fingers)

no longer poses a threat.


Diamond papers rustle to the tune

of old timers accented lyrics

“For’ee poin’uh wharra bargin

D-flawless cer’ified”.


Polishing motors rush strong gusts of wind,

sawblades sing and files rasp

up and down sheets and bars of silver.

The ultrasonic cleaner buzzes jewels

back to sparkling.


But these softly spoken cacophonies

only reach those with an ear to hear.

Time changes the beat changes time.

New players have joined the orchestra.


Where there were goldsmiths, now there are coffeesmiths

Clinking and tinking no longer a rhythmic staccato

as cutlery, china and glass ad lib in free style.


The jetplane sound now roars directly at street level

as the coffee engines of Prufrock and The Department

of Coffee and Social Affairs fire up

taking off with Heathrowian regularity

Syphons bubbling black gold issue periodic gurgles.


I grow accustomed to the new soundtrack

as I trip down Leather Lane

before slipping into a dust laden hallway

to collect a newly faceted green garnet

or deliver an engraved silver candlestick

to the polisher behind these locked doors

where I can yet enjoy the music of my trade

whilst sipping a Cappuccino.


2 responses to “The music of Leather Lane

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