The Quiet Coach (Sometimes I Forget)  

Sometimes I forget…
There’s  the last old Gasometer
Empty delicate circular grey meccano
A few miles on, ten enormous white birds
Preening, spinning, three legs, slowly in the wind 

The old canal, still water, thinking
The train flies, blurring trees & hedges, station names
In the distance a tiny stone church
Closer, a lake, lush reeds, a bridge, a hillside rutted path 
Dozens of white swans captured for a moment 

Sometimes I forget…
In the close mist of the city station
The crowds, suitcases, brick and marble,
soaring curved roof, glass & steel girders
Kings Cross, onward, Peterborough, Bedford, Newark, York & Newcastle   

Light bounces off dense dark and white clouds,
Sun glimpses through blue patches
Shadows on the yellow and green grass meadow,
A silent tractor glistening on a muddy track
Chocolate and white, black and golden cows,
Scattered flocks of sheep, cream and fluffy, with wooden black heads,
Stacked hay rolls, a barn, a thatched cottage, ploughed fields, woods
And not a person to be seen 

On the horizon four smoking chimneys
Belching fumes; plumes sucked into a cloudy haze. 

Sometimes I forget…
Here, inside, hermetically sealed
I am surrounded, cheek by jowl, by strangers all
The landscape is silent, the people quiet, all around
Fingers and eyes on their umbilical cords
White glowing Apple computer in front
A Samsung, Nokia and iPhone beside me
Connected with something far, far, away.


At last I hear a voice.
“Tickets, reservations, railcards, please!”



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