I’ve been in London nearly a year and a half now and this city never ceases to inspire and amaze me. Not in ways that are obvious, but in little ‘blink and you might miss it’ surprises that make the mundane less so.
And nowhere does this stand out more, than when I’m travelling on the London Underground.
For Londoners, this is a quick but tiresome way to get around the city.
Either too cold or hot; the smells and conversations of other travelers too close for comfort; the complete absence of connectivity, and you’re never quite sure whether to expect rain or shine at your journey’s end.
But TFL does do its bit to help with the journey via Art on the Underground and Poems on the Underground. While I still haven’t wound my head around all the minutiae of the first, the latter I love. The moment I set my eyes on John Fuller’s Concerto for Double Bass, pasted splat in the middle of ads for Match.com and Dogs Trust, my journey to work became lighter, quicker and more musical than when I started out.
An ode to neglected musical instruments, it goes like this…
He is a drunk leaning companionably
Around a lamp post or doing up
With intermittent concentration
Another drunks coat
He is a polite but devoted Valentino
Cheek to cheek, forgetting the next step
He is feeling the pulse of the fat lady
Or cutting her in half
But close your eyes and it is sunset
At the edge of the world it is the language
Of dolphins, the growth of tree roots
The heart beat is slowing down
I am still far from being the kind of regular Tube traveler who can calmly read Proust when jammed up against the closing doors during rush hour, or the pristine Suit who is neatly weaving her eye liner wand amidst the jerks of elbows and newspapers, or the Jock who can go a whole journey with a ‘look Mom, no hands’ attitude. But when there’s poetry for me to read, my journey is only as long as it takes me to type the words out onto my phone.
To more poetry and inspiration this year; Happy 2013