Brian Wake

(Liverpool)

Travelling Backwards


At thirteen forty five our train begins to move, and, late
to board, what seats remain face not toward but from.
I shuffle off and fold my overcoat and sit, do battle
with a newspaper to find a decent page and settle down
to read.

Behind me, music hisses from a faulty earphone. A child
describes the passing fields; a city child surprised by space
and countryside, surprised by, look mum, cows and sheep.
Across the aisle a blue-haired lady with an open book
is fast asleep.

From where I sit, my awkward view is of the places
we have travelled through. What views await us are, as yet,
unknown, the present blurred, the past quite clear. I travel
backwards in a crowded train.

I sit with some who seem to travel backwards all their lives;
they sit asleep or read with children counting sheep and cows.
For them and me, perhaps, what was and what is now
are somehow all there is.

Submitted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Edited: Friday, October 18, 2013

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  • Charles Monroe (10/29/2013 1:41:00 PM)

    'Top One-Hundred Poets Club'
    Out of Thousands and thousands of Poems online
    Mine was number sixty-five.
    Poet with a Thousand Kills
    But with weak promotion skills.
    Poem Hunters lose their way
    And, at times, become the prey
    All is fair in War and Love
    Top One-Hundred Poets Club.
    All contestants orchestrated
    Or perhaps they're all related
    Smiling proud with Pen in Hand
    We remain the Underrated.
    It will take a thousand Poets
    Just to help you stay afloat
    But nothing beats the satisfaction
    To receive an honest Vote.
    Poem Hunts the lamest Ducks
    I Searched You a thousand bucks
    Poison Ink reigns from above
    Top One-hundred Poets Club

    P.X

    #65 Charles Monroe


    Novus Ordo Seclorum (Report) Reply

  • Elin Grimes (10/21/2013 1:32:00 PM)

    This is exceptionally good - and so far the only contest poem which I would classify as Excellent. However. Is it really fair for a published, professional poet to enter a poetry competition with us ordinary folk?

    This poem is beautiful and I'll definitely be checking out your others. I loved this:

    I sit with some who seem to travel backwards all their lives;

    I do wonder what you mean by the third line from the end though. Why do you think someone asleep with a book is travelling backwards all their life? Seems a bit of a harsh, and perfunctory judgement on someone you basically don't know at all. Same with the mother/child. I feel like you need something of a bit more substance before stating something so deep about a stranger. Just my interpretation though. I like that the poem made me want to read it more than once, and gave me something to think about. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh Rai (10/18/2013 7:22:00 AM)

    I sit with some who seem to travel backwards all their lives;
    they sit asleep or read with children counting sheep and cows.
    For them and me, perhaps, what was and what is now
    are somehow all there is.
    I take it as spiritual write. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

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