Poetry - May 2008

Swimming With Restoration

I headed down to a place
That I used to go swimming as a child
It had fallen into some decay
And that had made me feel not very mild
The council had let it fall to ruin
But a rescue plan was at hand
As the building won BBC's Restoration
Which proved to be a qualuty programme
I ventured into the cubicles
That I had changed in many years ago
The place smelt the same and looked quaint
Without people dive bombing to the pool below
The old viewing areas are still intact
The tiles are so lovingly still preserved
And when the building's front is done
It'll be completely deserved
I want to see this place back open
So that the public can have a nice place to swim
If you've ever been to that Aquatics Centre
You'll know the atmosphere there is grim.

(Felt very inspired by my recent visit to Victoria Baths in Manchester.)

Heaven On Earth (London St Pancras)

I went down to London
I it doesn't matter why
And when I got there I found a place
That made me full of pride
When Eurostar announced their move
Waterloo was set to fester
But St Pancras International
You can get there straight from Leicester
It's heaven on earth to be there
It makes me really glad
It's heaven on earth to go there
And makes going to London less sad
It smells of newness and perfume
It's bright, full of glass and lovely
It's manned by souls just full of love
And the decor makes you feel homely
The tube station is nicely placed
The shops are full and bustling
The pubs aren't bad, the loos are posh
And the signage isn't rusting
It's heaven on earth to be there
It's really really good
It's heaven on earth to go there
And it's better than that Gare du Nord
All stations, they should be this way
Just look at York and Bristol
Where the grandeur for the traveller
Makes changing just as blissful
St Pancras is a station
Of which we should all be proud
Is it any wonder that the planners
Kept that clock face above ground?
It's heaven on earth to be there
It makes me full of pride
It's heaven on earth go to there
And it's a nice start to your long train ride!

(This is wholly based on MJ Hibbett's excellent "Hell On Earth (Birmingham New Street)" but with the words completely revised to something a lot nicer. And if you've ever been to St Pancras (I took the train there from Sheffield last week) you will know what I mean.)

The Night Train

Leaving London late at night
It seems a different place
And as I head to Euston to go home
There's a sort of strangeness around
I head to the platform
To board the train to take me home
And it seems like a ghostly sight
As everyone seems so tired out
The journey is full of people
Trying to get some sleep on the way
I keep myself up with far too much coffee
But I really can't do with a sleep
So it trundles through the Midlands
Like almost a dirty stop out
And before I know it midnight has passed
And I'm still miles away from home
The train gets to Piccadilly just before one
And it's now time to find a taxi
Hope I don't get ripped off too much
That night train was after all so cheap
Maybe that's why it's so?
Because you know you can't get home
So easily on a weekday after the night train
That seems to take all nght.

(The 2205 from Euston to Piccadilly on a weekday, it is a strange beast!)

Coffee And Cake

Some things just go so well together
Like a cup of coffee and a slice of cake
Refreshments and a treat all in one
That sometimes has a calorie intake
You could also think of tea and biscuits
That go so very well
Except the Rich Tea variety is anything but
As it obliterates in the cup, it's hell
But to relax in the evening
With a latte, espresso or black
And having something soft and moist
That can be chocolatey, walnut or black
Just seems a nice match to me
And something that is so great
So remember when you're next at a café
Remember - it's coffee and cake!

(I think after having coffee and cake together in Kro Bar recently, it made me realise what a good combination it actually is!)

Summer's Here Haiku

The sun has come out
At last I can wear short sleeves
And look all summery!

(If today's sunshine is anything to go by, anyway...)