Going Underground

swept
­           down
­­­                      rain-wet
­­­                                       steps
at the Broadway                            shoes slip
surfing the crowd
going underground
Oyster swipes through the barrier
tentative
­­­                 on
­­­                       the
­­­                              es
­­­                                   ca
­­­                                        lator
steely steep
and hungry

on the platform
damp, sweat and dust
pervade
below sweeter notes
­­­                                      of perfume and aftershave
open yawn of tunnel
breathes a stale gust
skitters an empty take-away cup
sets a page
of yesterday’s news
dancing along the rails
vibrating with the oncoming
screaming
dragon
passengers tumble
from opening doors

mind the gap

spat from the monster’s jaws
avoiding collision
with commuters fighting to get in
and on their way
to another working day

Kim M. Russell, 2017

Going Underground

Image found on metro.co.uk

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics Underground 

This week Paul is our host and he wants us to go ‘underground’.  He asks what, where or who is the underground?  He has also shared a wonderful poem by one of my favourite poets, Seamus Heaney, and a great tune to set us on our way.

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57 thoughts on “Going Underground

  1. Oh Kim….I love the pacing of this when I read it; and the spacing you’ve done to illustrate the words. Your desctiptive imagery puts me right there…I especially like these words
    “skitters an empty take-away cup
    sets a page
    of yesterday’s news
    dancing along the rails”
    This kind of work-a-day commute is often referred to here as the “rat race.” Your photo and words really convey that hectic frenetic dash to work that so many make.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lillian I was in London two weeks ago to read some poems at the launch of the Anthology of Aunts. I really don’t enjoy going on the Tube – never did. I don’t like being somewhere I feel can’t escape from!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always wanted to visit Sweden but the closest I got was Malmo on a day trip over the bridge from Copenhagen a few years ago. It’s still on my list 😉

      Like

  2. Fun taste of the subways. My daughter and I did a 3 week couch-surfing trip through Wales and England and we got a kick of the phrase “Mind the Gap” and “Mind the Step”. Not an American expression. And when we returned to the USA, we missed the various British accents and thought our own was ugly. So I tried to read your poem with some British tones to make the tour complete.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. God blessed me to live and work above ground. I have never experienced a ride on the subway, and I must say I’m not sorry. I loved your poem, however, … and it’s downward path!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved this, Kim. Reminded me of taking the Tubes in London. I also remember the stairs where the escalaters weren’t and tossing my coins to the buskers. And of the Americans using the wrong side of the stairs and walkways.
    ..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kim, your photo is the very reason, I try to avoid taking transit, in Toronto, during rush hour, in all forms: streetcar, bus, and subway. I value my mental health, over getting there, an hour or two sooner. Had enough anxiety/panic attacks, to last me, several lifetimes. Sigh. The worse thing about taking transit, in rush hour, is you’re left feeling like, a human sardine, without any sauce, to cover various body odours, in a tin can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately the Tube is a necessary evil in London but haven’t lived there for over 25 years and only occasionally visit. I love living deep in the countryside 😉

      Like

  6. My goodness this is such a powerful depiction of an underground transit system. Especially like; “Oyster swipes through the barrier tentative on the escalator steely steep and hungry on the platform damp, sweat and dust pervade below sweeter notes of perfume and aftershave.” sigh.. beautifully executed.

    Liked by 1 person

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