It was a scorcher today.
We ate ice-lollies in the office
and called it quits at five
only to find
the District Line had melted.
It really is too hot for any more words about this very warm day in London. Some say it has been the hottest day of the year. The weather forecast suggests there may be another day or two of similar intensity.
A couple of years ago I happened to write another poem about a warm summer’s Wednesday and being confined to an office.
And along with the District Line melting, my internet connection has been on a go-slow while preparing and uploading this post. Perhaps the heat has jammed its way into all the day’s component parts.
A number of poems have come to me during London commutes. “Every morning because it’s wonderful to watch” originated on the platform at East Finchley station. When I find myself waiting for a train to arrive, I still sometimes think about the poem between the tracks.
Other tube poems include
On the way to Westminster
The Home Commute
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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
I have written a number of poems inspired by London commuting, including this surreal scene posted last year.
Here are some others:
On the Way to Westminster (a personal favourite)
The sweaty gym clothes
yelled in the tog bag,
m8t$er f%$*er could the day get any worse?
But in the Zara and Topshop bags,
short summer dresses from the
50% off rack just giggled at the hope of seeing sun.
The backpack lugging the laptop
for an evening of more work simply sighed. Weary
would carry them home.
Another poem inspired by my commuter experiences on London’s tube.
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012
It’s a little uncanny that my current writing and the archive posts are showing parallel topics. Last week the new poem inspired by music echoed the archive poem written during a jazz concert (six years ago!). This week, quite by coincidence, it’s work generated on London’s Underground. From this time last year, the archive yields another tube poem. “On the Way to Westminster” is one of my favourite creations. On exiting at Leicester Square, I often wonder if today will be the day I might meet the killer whale.
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
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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
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:
Tube sketch (one of a few)
The Home Commute
On the Way to Westminster
Every morning, because it’s wonderful to watch
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.
As @BeadedQuill I Tweet about my life in London, being a poet and my current interests.
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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
The woman alongside hum
drops her Evening Standard
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