Copyright © 2005 Martin Newell
Pepys 0.1 Blogware © Steve Dix
The Morning Train
The Hythe has had a shower today
Sluiced the weary night away
The platform, wet from recent rain
Is standing for the London train
In sight of automatic gates
The backbone of the nation waits
The clouds are hanging out to dry
For soon the sun will scale the sky
With gelled-up hair, the younger chaps
And too much aftershave, perhaps
In crumpled jackets, scruffy shoes
Go late to jobs, they'd hate to lose
Yawning then, they find a place
To hide themselves in cyber-space
Sequestered in a comfort zone
Of laptop, i-pod, mobile phone
Somewhere near to Seven Kings
A salesgirl thinks engagement rings
Drains her polystyrene cup
And then, reluctantly, moves up
Recalling waterfront estates
In seats not made for vertebrates
For in the hour or so it takes
The backbone of the nation aches.
Swan Fleet In Winter
White on blue, on white, on blue
The swan fleet winters on the Colne
When the sky is full of snow
And the yellow clouds hang low
Over woods at Wivenhoe.
Cotton-swabs to wipe the make-up
From December's streaky face.
On the river rolling slowly
Through the cold rose afternoon
Feather galleons of the moon.
High above them, gulls manoeuvre
Silver seaplanes headed east.
Far below, a flagship's waiting
Twilight on its icy prow
Captain Frost's expected now.
Stalking, silent, through the coalyard
Stooping cranes and frozen ships
Tapioca dock and warehouse
Haunted, now the men are home
And the mud is dirty chrome.
Here the night squats on the water
And the moonlight's on the snow
While the swan fleet sits at anchor
By the corrugated ridges
Of the quay and concrete bridges.
Where the reeds are bent or broken
And the splintered pallets float
In among the ebbing eddies
Bobbing by the wooden jetty
Glistening with cold confetti.