in a Dickensian gloom,
an autumn drizzle dampens
the concourse entrance.
A ticket inspector, jocular
in silver buttons, nods me through.
A half day free,
‘Return to Chalk Farm please,’
the long climb up Primrose Hill.
My seaman's roll draws attention,
commuters head to the underground.
The maid says she is out,
I think, probably at the monkey house
watching primate antics
or a voyeuristic jaunt
on Hampstead Heath.
A cloud of vapour envelops me
from a blast of vapour from a locomotive.
I run past the inspector's black box.
‘Plenty of time Sir!’
A woman's voice on the Tannoy
drags out the moments,
‘The train on platform four to Tilbury
will leave at 3:55 . . .’
her metallic voice echoes in the rafters.
A couple squirm on a bench,
the ticket collector winks,
‘Young love, hey Sir?’
"Yes, Indeed!" I buy a paper
at Smith’s and stroll to my carriage.
I try to read, but Juliet's hair lies
silky on my shoulders, her fragrance
blending with her shampoo, her stockings
hanging from the clothes horse
all rush to mind along with her laugh
when I arrive with a present.
A pigeon squawks underfoot.
The train puffs, chugs an’ puffs out
of the station.
The smell of coke hanging
on the vapour of the engine's chuff.
The rhythm changes over the points,
nothing to be done.
I ponder five more weeks at sea,
look down the embankment at still life:
a housewife beating a carpet,
a scrap metal dealer leads horse and cart,
workmen congregate like lemmings
to the shriek of a factory hooter.
I lean back into my first class antimacassar,
soften to the idea of North Steyne,
an antipodean summer,
Helen sunbathing by my side
Last edited by FranklyDire
on 17 Jan 2018, 09:48, edited 4 times in total.