PAVEMENT WALKER –
Do not stop for
they are a
waste of time.
Hurry in a grey
coat. See not
the fallen gate-
post, a thread
of quiet small-
First thoughts for this poem were drafted on a little black Alcatel. I had been given the ‘phone as a freebie on opening an Orange account when I first arrived in the UK. On the evening of these first draft thoughts, I think I was on my way to see the friends whose household features in another of my poems, 118A Creighton Avenue.
“Pavement Walker” reflects a typical weekday evening in a North London suburb when it is repopulated after the workday exodus. The commuters spill onto the pavements from the tube and buses, still bent over their ‘phones and cares.
The original draft mentioned “Consult/ the insufficient Blackberry,” but I removed the brand reference in respect of their copyright. This allowed for a smarter poetic turn, as I could then insert an inter-textual reference to a line from TS Eliot’s “Four Quartets.” See if you can spot the allusion.
“Pavement Walker” serves as the opening poem of my first volume, Shining in Brightness. Positioned as such, it was intended to be both a poetic and thematic entry point into the (sub)urban landscape, which is the setting for much of the work. It also introduces the tone of quiet meditation that qualifies many of the selected poems.
“Pavement Walker” appears in the 94th issue of the South African poetry journal Carapace. You can order copies of Carapace or read more about the journal here.
To preview my first volume of poetry SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012, visit the online bookstore at blurb.co.uk.
Follow my regular tweets on poetry, pavement walking and suburban life. I’m @BeadedQuill.