A Train Journey
A Train Journey A morning journey in grey first light Sat in docile pleasant hours With the outside world Passing in oil painted blurs And countryside colours newly emerging From the canvas cover of night time A group of houses, hamlet formed Nestled beside a bare coppice and hedgerowed fields. Smoke rising from hearth and fire, Unbothered by the still winds. The towns and villages disappear in an instant, As if flashed in the light of a vivid dream. Slowing at station approach The faces wait blank and tired-lined. New voices join and sit among us, As the distance grows from the warmth of home, The accents imperceptibly change, Across unmarked borders of subtle linguistic differences. And now the laughs and chatter Sound entirely different to an hour ago The Midlands nasal whine shunted for clipped Oxfordian tones, Ending in London glottal stops and h's dropped into the Thames. I'm tired now. I don't want to listen to the conversations of strangers, And noisy slurps of the too hot trolley coffee. Instead I listen to the train sounds, Discerning every engine note. Hearing the rhythms of wheels on track over points Lulled to sleep by the melancholy of travel Alone among strangers, mute among voices.