Polly

Writings and Witterings

Morning Town Ride

40 Comments

This is the poem I submitted to dVerse for the anniversary celebrations and it was entered for the Nain Rouge contest.  Mark Durfee of Nain Rouge emailed some weeks later to say:

Your poem MORNING TOWN RIDE made the cut not only to be published in Vol 1 Issue 1 of Nain Rouge, it was also selected by a very qualified group of writers as 1 of the top 6.

I am delighted.

*****

It was grim on the tube this morning in London, so hot and humid, stinky – this came out of it …

English: Congestion on the London Underground

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

like a
toothpaste
tube of the
hunched up,
bunched up,
crunched up,
swilled and
SPIT at
station
drain.

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

oh oh,
get some
mouthwash,
don’t breathe
on me
please;
last night’s
garlic
was good,
last night.

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

finger phones;
manipulate
mobiles
for mails,
thumb apps,
angry birds,
twitter,
overheat,
a mass,
morass

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

of smells,
standing
room only,
read ‘Free
Metro’, or
‘Kindle’,
hang from
bars like
sensible
apes.

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

save
yourself!
bump,
lurch,
sway,
sway,
hear
wheels,
tracks,
screech.

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

iPod,
earbuds,
jiggle,
bleeding tracks,
fan face,
cool down,
heat up,
moist hot
heaps of
humanity …
ride on
morning
town ride.

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

Polly Stretton © 2012

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40 thoughts on “Morning Town Ride

  1. Ha ha! This one made me laugh. I think you’ve just created a poem my teenage son would actually like! And you’ve made me grateful for my little dented Prius.

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    • heh-heh – what do you think your teenage son would like about it? I’m really curious!

      Glad it made you laugh – and believe me, after today, I wish I were brave enough to drive in London!

      Like

  2. Pheweee I’m glad I don’t have to commute! I love this – reinforces that I am definitely happy being freelance and not having to travel like this!

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    • Thankfully, Alex, I don’t have to commute too often. Having said that, this was my second day in London this week 😦

      Glad you enjoyed it.

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  3. Loved it. I don’t do tube but I do train and I know how this feels. I love the style of this as well. Great stuff.

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    • Thanks Garry – great to have some thoughts about the style of the piece.

      Thankfully the two hour train journey prior to the tube journey was OK, it wasn’t quite as hot at that stage of the trip. Hey-ho, if one gets called to London one must go …

      Very pleased you liked this poem.

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  4. Very evocative – too evocative(!) – of Tube travel. Love the ‘hang from bars like sensible apes’ – ironic?

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    • Thank you, Lindsay – made me smile with ‘too evocative’ and ‘ironic’ – like you have to ask!

      I was glad to be back home yesterday only to have to dash off to Gloucester like Dr Foster … had a good time both in London and Gloucester, a tiring but fruitful day.

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  5. I sooo love this, upbeat and modern!!aggg that stinky breath!that’s the most gruesome thing that I really hate when commuting! you shoot right through my head Polly 🙂 kampai!

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  6. What a great piece Thank you 🙂

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  7. amazing what we can hear when the earphones come out!

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  8. Never had the, um, pleasure of a London commute, but this still took me back to commuting between Ledbury and Worcester in the summer of 1997… NEVER enough coaches on!
    Nice rhythm throughout and the stark language fits that brain-dead feeling of “not quite mentally there” trance of having to endure the crush…

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  9. That definitely made me never want to ride that thing….ever!! This one was awesome! Loved it.

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    • heh-heh … I don’t do it ‘cos I want to Maggie! A taxi for the same journey takes an hour and costs a fortune – the wretched stinky tube takes ten minutes of foul stench and costs less … do we have a real choice?

      Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

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  10. Love this rhythmic ride. Glad I wasn’t there though 🙂 I can picture/almost smell those wide open oozing armpits as the apes hang sensibly 😉

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  11. Congratulations Polly – both on the poem and on your success with it! x

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  12. I enjoy the stream-lined nature of this vertical poem. chackety chack holding it all together -as it does.

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  13. I know of what you speak…I rode the subway for all the years I lived in Boston. Humanity squished together…sometimes too close…and the sounds of those screeching brakes…brought it all back to me. Congratulations, Polly…I love your poem. I was stunned myself to be chosen The Editor’s Choice…woohoo! 🙂

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  14. Gayle, how lovely of you to comment … it was stunning to be told about being in the final six and I’m delighted for you ~ the Editor’s Choice ~ WOW! *makes obeisance* we are not worthy! heh-heh 🙂

    I’ve peered in all the nooks and crannies of your blog but cannot track down Boston Buskers … where are you hiding it? Bet it will be a treat when we can finally see it 🙂

    Thanks for coming along and commenting, lovely to see you 🙂

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  15. I share that shocked feeling with you…really, I couldn’t believe it…still can’t! 🙂 Well, I’m sorry you went searching for it but I never published it. I was waiting to see if it would be chosen and then thought I would post it after it’s published by Nain Rouge. Mark Durfee did mention ‘editing’ it but said it would not be slashed to bits…hehe. And then I wondered if others had posted theirs and found that you had…have you read others? Maybe I should post mine…still pondering that…

    Living in Boston is what inspired my write about the street entertainers there. It was a very cool town to live in…

    It was a pleasure to read your very entertaining poem, Polly…and yay for us! 🙂

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    • Isn’t it strange [rhetorical] I haven’t thought about looking for everyone else’s until you’ve just put the idea into my head! Have you read the others?

      Have you had your work edited by others before? What do you think of / how do you feel about that? ‘Not slashed to bits’ ooooh, looks a bit scary to me (!)

      I love Boston…visited around five years ago, what a fab city, loved the docks and the markets especially and the people were great.

      Can’t wait to read it Gayle, but you put it up when you’re good and ready 😀 x

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  16. I just finished reading Kavita’s poem…just beautiful…she’s a friend on Facebook so I knew how to find her blog…don’t know if I can find the others or not…maybe if they’ve commented on my blog before I could track them down. I was just curious as to whether everyone else had posted theirs or not.

    I had one story of mine published in The Orlando Sentinel many years ago and there was minimal editing done on it. Whew! Yeah, Mark Durfee…was kidding me a bit about the editing …but I don’t mind…these people are professional and I’m sure they know what they’re doing…right? (Gulp!) He also had spent time in Boston himself and I think the poem brought back good memories for him.

    How great that you visited there…yes, a very fab city…I do mention Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market in my poem too…very popular places in Boston.

    It was nice chatting, Polly…I enjoyed this…and thanks!

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  17. It has been good chatting Gayle ~ I’ve found Kavita’s poem and Matt’s and I’m working down the list now 🙂 Thanks for the heads up ~ see you on dVerse 🙂

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  18. The rhythm of this poem captures the morning train ride excellently! Thank you for your comments re my poem for Nain Rouge and congratulations for your selection.

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