Written and read by Jenny Knight
The striking pointlessness of the hundreds and thousands of commuting hours people spend in hot, cold and crowded trains going in and going out will be intimately known by millions across the world. Sleeping, twitching, talking, shouting, looking, working, reading, sneezing, coughing, thinking, dreaming; if only there was another way. This poet ponders the scene. Click to listen.
Man on train (Inspired by a man on a train)
Shiny suit, collar brown, Sleeves rolled up, looking down, Case on lap, notes on top – Meeting notes, perhaps. He mops His brow, and writes in blood red ink Pauses, and reads, and has a think. Adjusts his tie and uses phone.
‘What time is dinner? I’ll be home Quite soon, provided that the train Remains on time, despite the strain Of passengers and damaged lines…’
And days like now, when the sun shines Which makes me hot, and what I want Despite my study of small font On paper, on my case, today Is to throw the bloody lot away And jump off this God-awful train Which takes me up to hell again Tomorrow, and the next day, too Because, you see, it’s what I do I catch the o six forty five Which is scheduled to arrive At eight fifteen, just in time To catch the tube, the district line
And in the office, paper chase Admin, meetings, it’s a race Against the clock, to get it done What is it, though, that makes us run This fast, and dress in funny suits? Laptops, mobiles, we fill our boots With crap, and walk a mile alone Achieving nothing, dragging stone Leaving patterns here and there Leaving chaos everywhere
No-one knows quite what it’s for, The endless journeys, door to door Decisions which mean nothing much Action plans which do not touch The lives of people on this train, Their problems, questions and their pain For now, though, I will mark with pen The pages on my lap, again Small font, tired eyes and aching head Home, dinner, telly, then to bed.
Jenny Knight, 2015
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