A splurge on the back page
Or the back of a dismissive hand
Unstructured. Half considered only halfway coherent
In response to something: the weather, a conversation overheard, a scene from the train…
The landscape appears smaller from the carriage at the back.
I expect it looms just the same from the front.
Egg box hills and pan scourer gorse,
Of course, I connect the whir with the washer.
Sand timer towers
Levitate on matchstick stilts.
Toothpick telegraph poles split and splinter
To grasp floating black cotton strands —
Connecting row upon row of identikit flatpacks —
Pre-scored, cardboard homes.
Roofs corrugating ripples through the monotony.
The cooler plume the only white
In a grey, rain bearing sky
Bored of its cloud’s-eye view of dull Winter fields.
As small as his tag
And glistening as brightly.
A Labrador retriever.
The train has neither time nor care
To stop. Or ask.
The glint is gone,
Miles and minutes behind.
Graffiti, approaching the tunnel mouth,
Speaks over and over into the dark
Nib of its tagline, blurred
By the politic of paint, integrity of mortar;
Scribe’s intent, gazer’s expectation…
Artistic empathy minds reputation.
Blotted in margins and on the Metro.