Friday, 18 May 2012

Rape Carriage

The end of the line

misfit carriage brought out of the sidings

off-peak hour to travel

for personal reasons.

My carriage, doors slam, whistle,

you've missed the train now.

I drop my bag on the seat

sagging under invisible weight

dust glamour on the air.

One long seat facing another

door left and right, no corridor.

My carriage with a word of mouth

warning – rape carriage.

Seven stops before my station,

seven chances to get out and get in again.

Core, pips and skin smells

out of reach of

the long handle broom

are disturbed.

Picking up, faster, faster

electrical lightning on overhead lines,

I couldn't be more alone

if I was using the toilet.

Maybe someone is back to back with me

in the compartment in front,

leaning back to go to sleep.

Sure I heard some people singing

The Ace of Spades,

I sing Lisa Says all to myself.

Till a station approaching, slow

platform standing,

ticket holding faces, opening doors,

will anyone, would anyone

get in here with me,

Pussy Willow blending with the brillo seat.

Blue denim turning the handle,

see right through and out the window,

no, turning away,

and we're moving again

re-arranging myself.

It's not like it's night time.

It's not like I'm hitch-hiking.

It's not like I'm wearing a short skirt.

I'm wearing boots for running away,

if there was an away.

Sharp objects in my possession

it could be me, the predator

in flower buckle, matelot under velvet.

Wheels going motorik.

Just a partition but no communication

between me and

I don't know if I'd hear them shouting.

Windows open.

Tendrils come loose.

Rape of the lock.

Yellow fields

oil seed rape, crop rotation

over said and again, bored with the word.

Stubble scratch seating prickles me

through my tassel skirt.

I could get out next station


If I opened the door

Levi blue didn't or couldn't

open the door, jammed one side,

if the platform's that side,

I'll try if the platform's that side

if I can get out I'll go.

Tracks cross before a station.

Platform slope, this side,

ready at the door,

blazer, bike jacket, hair in ribbons.

If someone comes to get in

I might wait and see,

non-stopping train

meet with eyes, till we're moving too fast.

My compartment for ten people

I count one.


Two doors out to electrocution

and wrapped round the wheels.

Sun following me

caught on the overhead racks,

rolling down and over me

down and again, flash on the rack,

overtaking myself

with whoever they are

if he gets in,

and who he'll be

to easy meat,

some are already dead

when a uniform opens the cage.

Another station,

nothing, no one.

The next stop is mine.

Window shivers the door,

I close it then my eyes

I try to remember what

the carriage remembers,

can't even remember me, it's too old.

Thirteen minutes,

that's what it was last week.

Someone in here, pin stripe.

Didn't look at me tying my shoe lace,

looked out of the window all the time,

for thirteen minutes.

Roulette, dragging, slowing, breaking.

My station.

All my personal possessions

to the door.

No one coming.

I stay on.

Thirty minutes just the carriage

and me fast to the city.





Saturday, 12 May 2012

Repairs and Diversions

Leaving the pressure of clouds

over Essex

two strangers are trapped

in a dead end.

Unable to join the train

of people

onto my fear

the escalator.

All alternatives padlocked.

A songwriter and Sky,

his elfin hound,

who when I think back

didn't look long at me,

afraid of catching my fear,

she was wise,

until someone came with keys

to the steps

then she leapt by my side.

While her songwriter

made a difficult climb

just to stay with me

until I felt safe over ground,

nothing more.

I said the things people say like


with a feeling like

6 o'clock sadness

that his kindness was worth more than

a handshake.

And on my way home to the coast wondered

if that was a rook or a crow,

and if you could tell me which?

Rook or crow what's the difference,

I asked anyway,

if he should fly to Wales

to salute you from me,

as I imagine Sky and you walking

away from track repairs

and diversions,

mown sunshine in your shade.