Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Small Stone - Jan 24th

Day Out

Mobiles on tables, laptops out. Passengers prepare for the journey.
Business suits and briefcases, laughing friends, day-trippers, museum goers, shopping expeditions.
Leisurely crawl towards city perimeter, through a periphery made dingy by its wealth of factories.
Speed picks up in a new estate where ugly boxes crowd humbly in small groups.
Garden sheds hug back fences and rubbish is dumped over to accumulate on sidings.
Next the cemetery. Rows of graves begin to blur. Grey stones become ribbons of death – insistent and badgering.
Eyes cannot keep pace with the nearness of things.
Look away to meet the tantalizing horizon as the long train glides beyond.
On past quiet farms. A meadow full of cows lying down stimulates a silent plea for rain to be delayed until tomorrow.
Open country under grey streaked arches tacked on the cobalt sky.
Tracks stretch on, slicing up acres of emerald damask.
Sunshine flashes on a mirrored surface. Windsurfer tacks across, making use of the abandoned quarry.
Uneven line of beet pickers, like sliding knobs on a control console.  A factory field complete with conveyor belt.
Dogs in a field. Obedience class. A mini-gymkhana of exercise and control.
Distant spire, seen through hedgerows, announces a destination.
Rectangular patches of small scale horticulture. Hobby growers, digging for victory over bland, commercial giants.
Industrial estate, shiny new. Warehouses selling advanced prosthetics, made to order, and children’s wooden toys.
Don coats. Gather up handbags.
Laptops away.
Stand, phone still glued to ear.
Hurry. Be first off, though the platform is not yet in sight.

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