Prophet on the 259

DSCF2034 (1) When he got on the bus, his stench was enough

For all eyes to fall footward and arms to fold inward

Sainsbury’s bags stacked between rows of cold knees planning evenings as tables for tea and TV.

“We’re all sleeping!” he cried with the mountain bus groaning

As the wheels felt the weight of his message and bearing

“Our senses deceive us! Don’t trust what you see!”

A man in the aisle nods but cannot agree,

As our suspect and prophet, with grubby beard twitching,

breaks all of the contracts with suspicious diction.


Mobiles raised like the shields of a leaderless army

Deflecting the spears of the obviously barmy

With silence like gravestones, like rule books, like grown ups

Wishing him only away, away

Wishing him only away.


“Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll hear you tomorrow,

Today I toil in a field of tall sorrow,

Give me some time to come around,

Give me just one more day.”


But he, of the barrows, could no longer contain

What he’d learned in the marrow of the cold and the rain

“You are not what you think,” he went on to explain

And the eyes, oh the eyes they went down,

Down with the strain.


Three stops was the time that he spent on our bus,

With we who were never a we or an us

but a jangle of shadows in a tin box of time

In North London on board the 259.


He got off at the stop at Seven Sisters station

To a laugh and a sneer and a sighed incantation,

And normality flew to its usual perch

As the 259 continued to lurch.


“Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll wake up tomorrow,

Today I toil in a field of tall sorrow,

Give me the gift of one more round

Give me just one more day.”



About subincontinentia

writer and eternal optimist
This entry was posted in epoche and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Prophet on the 259

  1. Julie Marron says:

    Oh my goodness Bex I have shivers reading this. This is the best thing I’ve ever read of yours. No kidding. Next level excellent. You must send to a serious poetry journal. Please keep writing, I feel like this is just the start of a box full of gems tipping out xxxxx

    • Oh you are too kind Julie, thank you that means a lot to me. I did feel after finishing this one something like – ‘yes, that is what I wanted to say’. I’m going to go with that. There are about 3 more poems from this North London series from my annus horriblis in 2014 – all related to interactions with the city’s homeless that seem to be asking for expression xx

  2. jeremy morrelli says:

    the mind boggles

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