I have written a number of poems inspired by London commuting, including this surreal scene posted last year.
37 of us shuttled along as we sit or stand
with our regular doors.
They are the ones with which we enter
Thursday morning in Zone 1.
They are the ones where we could
change here for
Too late to exit for Morden via Bank.
Your regular doors
can be dangerous.
You could change after Euston.
Make the next start
The image used is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years.
They who serve the suction of daybreak, beneath the earth, beneath the dew, beneath the kitchens where there’s burning toast and grapefruit, bury, with the morning light, their hope of hearing birdsong.
My commuting is less than a tenth of many who live and work in London. But when I am on the move, I often slot in writing, people watching and eavesdropping. Journeys by bus and Tube (and occasionally, by train) have become both companions of and subject matter for my writing. The Tube in particular has featured in a number of poems. Hereunder some from the growing set of related verselets:
After finishing “Tunnel Days”, I recalled that I had linked daybreak with grapefruit in an earlier poem. In “Dead Star” (2006) I referenced the fruit’s colour and palate-cleansing taste in a description of morning rays.
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“Dead Star” is one of twenty poems in Shining in Brightness, a book of selected poems about travel, love and growing up.
Through the character Emily, I wrote twenty poems offering insights about life, love and work for the Modern Boy. You can preview Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys here.
The man with the notebook draws attention. The woman alongside hum drops her Evening Standard to glance. Left-handed he is writing with a ballpoint in a Moleskine, A5-sized. Two page turners across from each other.
The poems this week centre around London and the ordinary, daily observations living in this metropolis offers. Our first poem considers a scene during a tube commute.
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness