Out of the bloom

It’s another hot morning

Sweat sits neatly

On the inside of my wrists

Wets my cuffs

And cools me

I’ve taken some time out

You see

From that town

To this country retreat

Where my body is supposed to breathe

I think it’s working?

Because my mind is in one place

Tapping to the beat

Of breakfast jazz

And it all comes together

For one short weekend

Out of the bloom

Monday to Friday

First you find a moment

To pause for 40 minutes

Relax your body

Drop your weight a little lower

Below your waist

Your blubber resting on your hips

At ease with yourself

And as we set off

Everyone stiffens a little

To avoid touching

Or seeing

You reach up

Hand in cough

Or sneeze

Or something far worse

Until the red light

And a voice that tells you

We’re taking a break

So you bend your elbow

And wait

Until it begins again

35 minutes to go

People asleep on the tube

Monday

A suited man with wispy hair

Gets on at Bond Street

He collapses next to larger woman who makes him look childlike

Another man, who keeps opening his eyes

To pretend he isn’t tired

Telling me? Or him?

And him too, two seats down

Inspired by the others

Tuesday

Face pressed against glass separator

With those ear buds in

What are they listening to?

Posh boy copies

Or tries to

But gets frightened by his own reflection

Worried I’m watching (I am)

So he readjusts himself

A slight woman

Rests her head against a bigger load

And drifts off

Wednesday

He smiles when he sleeps

I bet someone loves that about him

And then my own

Who met me after work

And now sleeps his way

Into my poem

Thursday

There are too many people

Too close

To s(l)ee(p)

Friday

Today it’s me

Half-drunk and restless

Dreaming of clean cotton sheets

The Fern

Surplus books

Scatter overpriced side tables

Side thoughts

Thought about

Too much

And walking past her

Who begs in a pitied hell

As the pits of olives

Drop from fed mouths

They read (loud)

‘You have too much

Time and money’

And she whispers (quiet)

‘Spare change, sir’

LED walkways

For hot totties

Drinking hot toddies

By the fern

Which slowly dies

But will be replaced tomorrow

By someone who dreamt

Of starting a business

By selling life to offices

But spends each day

Collecting and burying

The dead

How was work

‘How was work’

– It was just a normal day

Sometimes a normal day is a good day

Because it is sat between two bad days

And sometimes a normal day is just that

Completely average

Nothing worthy of note

But sometimes a normal day

Is the last thing you need

Sometimes you are expecting something extraordinary

And have to settle

For ‘normal’

Do you understand how tough that can be?

The Rude South

Commuters are like buses

And I am human

Or bus

Stuck in traffic

And everyone around me is beeping

Their voices

And the buses are ignoring each other

And no one is giving way

Or talking

Because we are all too desperate

To be away from each other

Not because we are the rude South

Or because London is lonely

But because this is life now

Or something like that

Thursday Night

I want to get home before you

And make dinner

Tidy and clean

And make my home feel like mine

I want you to walk in and kiss me

Not me to you

Because I haven’t spent a moment alone

Until now

Walking lonely in London

With so many other lonely people

And I thought about staying on the bus

Till the end of the line

Or getting off three stops early

So I can walk with myself

Hand in hand

And learn my body again

It’s been a while

Its been a while

but life catches

takes you by surprise

and bites at your tail

It’s been a while

I’m sorry

But when him and her

and she and he take time

to organise

then life is left to linger

longingly online

It’s been a while

But here

Where I take time seriously

when it stops at the red light

(unlike some)

I can pause

and ponder

and forget outside these lines

black thick hairs

at the corners of my screen

sprout out

and ingrown

in my mind

 

…and yours too

hopefully…