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The P O E M I S T

The Tube [1] (free verse version)

I see my face reflected
in the window opposite me
as I sit on the tube. I appear
between the guy all dressed City,
and the black char lady. I
wonder if they wonder about
me like I wonder about them.

I don't often come up to London.
I was born here a while back, but
it doesn't feel like my own. Is
London really the centre of the
universe? Not that anyone says
this straight out - its just sort
of the impression some people give.

You remember when you were
younger and, maybe, you didn't
go out one Saturday night and
everyone said it was the best night
ever and you missed it? I wonder
if London's a bit like that?

I don't know why, but for me
London sort of is the tube. I know
you've got the Houses of Parliament,
Buck House and all that. But that's
not really London. London's down
here, looking back at myself
between the people's heads.

The Tube [2] (alliterative-accentual
verse version: b-b-b-c)

My face reflected in the fast window
As I sit still on the shaking tube.
I see me between the man all made up City,
And the charcoal char lady chatting to a friend.

I don't come calling on the City too often.
I was born here back when, but it was never mine.
London longs to be loved by the world.
This is never said, stated or shouted out loud,
But is illicitly implied as an impression by many.

Remember when you were wistful and younger,
And stayed sitting at home one Saturday night,
And next night everyone nodded in agreement
That by far the best and most boozy night
Was enjoyed just about by every joker present,
And much to their mirth you missed being there?
Well, I wonder if London works a bit like that?

I think that for me, the tube is sort of London.
I know Harrods, Buck House, and the Houses of Parliament
Mean most to a great many people.
But, rightly or wrongly, for me that's not really London.
London lives down here, looking back at myself,
Back between the people's bobbing heads.

Poem © The Postcardist: 2017

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Last updated: 21th, Feb, 2017