Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Homeward Bound on the Claret Line

Checkered filthy upholstery
offers stale-smelling comfort
as the road ahead unravels
like the city's hungry tongue
towards each stop
on our journey.

The tunnels are carnivorous,
devouring with all the loneliness
that gathers in the spaces
we ignore even as we pass through.

Each alighting stranger
recounts the passage
we blindly make.
We are passengers but
not the driver.

I am not the driver.

Which stop is yours,
you think, reaching
for the button,
looking for a conductor
who doesn't know either.

Your ticket is crumpled,
overpriced and misspent,
as the road falls away behind us,
in the night,
leaving us
directionless.


Originally performed as part of the Light Night/Leeds Routes 'Spirit' performance, produced by West Yorkshire Playhouse.