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John Van der Kiste

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Popular Poetry (Travel)
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The colour of the underground
by John Van der Kiste
Thursday, August 08, 2002

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Air conditioning fights
To cool the masses, breathless
On a crowded platform,
Waiting impatiently.

Escalators downward –
Quick! Before it goes –
“Mind the gap”
Doors open –
Seas of people, crowds surge out –
A dam unleashed –
Swept into a carriage
By sheer force –
The doors slam shut.

“Change at Bank for central line”

She sits, engrossed in her paperback.
He reads the gossip from the morning paper.
They chatter excitedly,
Tracing the way on the map with eager fingers.
Someone else dozes,
The person next to him is bored.

You read this in the solitude of your home.
I smile quietly, proud to have lived,
Felt and touched the colour of the underground rush –
A refuge from the midday heat of the beat of the street –

But relieved
To have escaped.

Written in August 2002. The London underground rail system, or 'tube' is a useful invention - but after four or five journeys in one day, I for one have had enough!

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Reviewed by Sailor Neptune 8/8/2002
Wonderful poem
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