The Ballad of Dives the Rich

A howl hit the Charing Cross canopy as Sir Gerald Ashwarlingham-Buckleby swore at the man on the ticket gate whilst…

Itching

Breath, it is seriously quiet on this train. Look, that girl and her guy are energy-high on caffeine cans but…

The Lavender Fields

We broke from the platform in scattered sun to skim through a suburb of jungle elders and floppy sycamores, daubed…

upper deck

she booked me first and so the blackberry jam and toast struggle for space interlaid with the blotter and gleaming…

The Journey Home

A humid, heavy yawn folds up the day and marks the seconds on the bright departure clock; scrolling hours unending,…

Cracked

I drop my polished, black tile of a mobile on the oiled, sprung office floor and the touchscreen breaks. There…

York Railway Station

And do I wish to worship under vaults, eight hundred years of patina peppered to a crust; or in one…

Cross Country

A yellow grin is wiped across the landscape in the brilliant sunshine of a commuter morning that shouts Friday, which…

By Goodge Street

I’m awake in the sleep of an early end with a cup at my fingers, and the rhythm of Latin…

Standard Class

A thin mist hangs over the houses and a sharp, white frost in the brambles beside the track, as we…

Discharge

If you step up on the threshold of the seven thirty-seven you’ll find a lot of newsprint on its way…

Leaving Done

Now swimming in a foggy spa, warm as treacle, and people everywhere the same: happy, lost, finding themselves on the…

Passion

Was I kneeling? They came out cruel, and made a king’s mockery of this man.   Purple and red are…

My Father

is dying quietly in lines I drew, space we flew, paced in mind, rendered sane. I never thought the action…

Glue the Ballast

I had a train set like this when I was young. The service was delayed until lunch was cleared away…

Dice Advent

I had a dream that the whole world had burrowed to Oxford Street but they couldn’t get out because the…

Touched on the 19:45

They sat down next to her, him, the urine and the walking stick. ‘Go on, move up away from me…

My Mother

‘Have a look at this’. My father swayed, the living room a trench of obstacles, and wove string-ball to his…

Greek Street

It never oozed like Dean Street, where the blooded wet the steps of the Soho Theatre and splay across railings…

Grace

Take a linen cloth and screw it up, wring it tight until the fabric tears, peel it long and lay…

Return to Pisa

The canvas spans a screen before it folds and Tuscany is shrunk to yellow icon: olives spotted low in dipping…

Reduced Function

Heat-wrapped and hit semi-conscious on a late week morning, snow icing the highs of the verge and the dawn candescent…

Elmstead Woods

In August the buddleia finally pushes electric purple heads to the third rail, a wave of dancers – jewelled feathers…

Discontent

A downlighter soaked the back of his hair. “We’re just not made to be people who say: ‘In five year’s…

Loss of Containment

Waste is held at the junction, waiting for a green, overpowered by traction, bound with lead and steel; one engine…

Not a Good One

Look guys, just give me a wedge to pin my body tight, a rail to grab and stop the body-sway,…

Autumn of Summer

I’m walking to the station through the needling mist. The grass on the cricket ground is grey with dew just…

Permanent Way

How many sleepers are there on the line to Charing Cross? I wonder if they count them all or whether…

The Office Move

You left a lot of stuff behind me on the shelves: I’ve spent the last two hours dumping it in…

Passing lights

The man in the beige raincoat opposite has his nose in a book. He pulls on a frown, and then…

The Truth Within:

When the Fifty-Five knocked me down on Oxford Street (and after I’d left my wallet at home) security picked up…

Dramatis Architecti

I walk to the building. I enter. I pass Dimitri leaving, who frowns at me half-seen, and step onto light,…

The Girls

It’s Friday, and the sun is low: I wanted to work but couldn’t, so I picked up my pen to…

Misbehavin’

We were all gazing up from our fingernails, some with powdered newsprint hands, some with screwed-up iscreen pixels, some with…

Platform Proverbs

1 1 A late train is better than a mythic one. 2 Better an announcement clipped with facts than a…

The Return of the Prodigal

The prodigal dragged himself to the last but one crest and collapsed back to his bloodied palms. The heat seared…

Grating

Said the back to the brain: ‘this vertebrate pain is driving my spinal ladder insane’.   Said the brain to…

Short Story Twenty Twelve

Hot brown tea on the table blocks the blue water of the pool scored in lines across the panning camera…

Littleone

Will you remember the mudstraw hug when, after autumn lanes of rippling squirrels, curling beyond the doglost fields, under hops…

Corporate

I flew to Denmark in search of a soul that, I fancied, lived in cyan, bold on an unfamiliar stamp…

Occasion

We stopped at Petts Wood for a group of Chinese twenties, which was odd for the time and the place….

From a train: February 2006

An open dawn widening eyes and chilling the promise of day, sprung to leap under blue-hung clouds; shredded in light,…

St James’ Park

08.25 Underneath a black and spotted clutch of thirties ironwork, trace-lit by fluorine, condensed to white in damp reflection, backlit…

Bloody Business

I hate this recession, swollen twice in spate to obliterate the banks, to flush solids and spring beauty alike in…

Worship

I want to sing out loud but can’t because I’d frighten others on the train if I started. So I…

Watching You

Staring from a window on the south side of Soho was a young Chinese lady with noodles in her bowl….

Katz

and suddenly I was in this little place in Christianshavn, drinking coffee, eating pear pie and watching the Danes tog…