Friday, 11 March 2011

Rosyth Halt

Standing in a crowded old carriage,
Red seats covered by grey suits,
Fur coats covered by wickerwork

God! I've missed the stop!
Suppose I'd better get off -
Running in mid air,
Trying to catch up with the platform -
A huge slab of grey steel
Newly forged slipping past
Like an escalator going nowhere,

Following now a small stone path
Of fawn through oily green
There's a bridge over water that
Cannot be seen but
Must be there.
The train looks like a small wooden toy -
But there's no chil;d's hand to push it.

Almost casually the engine turns and
Topples over the edge of the bridge.
Carriages helplessly follow their leader
But there's no child's hand to save them.

Muffled splash is the background of my wonder -
I just stand there feeling rather strange
And very relieved,
Wondering why the hell I got off but
Thanking God that I did.

No house in sight but a shed nearby
That for one second was a phone box
And then for another a signal box
But I enter regardless.
Inside I am just two feet tall
And clambering up to a phone which
Seems to materialise as I think of it.

Some faceless official hands me a coin
For the phone.
He just sits there
In blue, dark blue and black,
Oblivious to the world outside.

Presumably sometime later
I tell them the story in full
But no-one seems to take interest
As I hold out my hand in desperation -
There's no child's hand to hold mine.


22 February 1973 From a dream. Rosyth Halt was the old name of a station near the Forth Bridge. Strange.


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