The three year old falls in front of the bus
and all of us take in the harshest breath,
time slows right down, the ultimate darkness

hovers before us, this is more than death,
this is nature’s true, uncaring face,
this day will stay with us throughout our lives.

We’re thrown forward as the driver hits the breaks.
The boy, unharmed, is scooped up by his Mum
who takes the blast of the driver’s rebuke,

offers no audible defence to him,
just clutches her boy tight, he’s bawling now.
The bus moves on, the world slowly becomes

a blur through glass, a casual peep show.


Canto CL

I’ve heard some horror stories from travellers
that there are several cities round the world
where you can tell a tale and have a laugh

with your fellow commuters and that all
the subway cars and creaking buses
are moving hubs for conversational

exchanges and some open heart confessions.
Fuck that for a sack of monkey bollocks,
I like the frowning home bound mob of London,

all holed up in the pyche’s concrete barracks,
this is our sole refuge for contemplation
between the verbose poles of home and work,

a secular chapel, station to station,
not looked upon by Saints, wandering eyes meet
the clinic adverts for boob operations

and now and then, a smattering of Keats.

Canto XCII

The train has stopped, the cranes outside keep swinging
as office types yack into Blackberrys
while white headphones hiss with a waspish singing.

The cranes seem calm, all lined up like an army.
The Blackberry exec makes dinner plans.
The white headphones play nineties R’n’B.

Someone behind me tuts, the train still stands,
despite the buzz and clamour all about,
the slow nudge onward with our careful plans,

we’ll never see the end, well, not without
some other target panning into view
to keep us all from living in the now

before this eat-fuck-die contract is through.

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