Copyright all Text and Images J.A. Hindle 2008
Illustrations by Rachel Errington.
John Lennon, on the Underground
I had fallen from a great height,
jumped, to be specific, down a shaft;
steam vented, walled with brick, surprised
when the floor met my feet, gently,
and a door opened out
to the carraige.
Though black and white
the fittings still stood out;
brass railings and wooden slatted benches
and faces of men who spoke
about wood, in Anglo Saxon
and flat capped commuters
who had lost all memory
of destinations or arrival
and John among them, knowing
with the smile of his eye
that he would sit with this cargo
and hope for the end of the line
while I stumbled through,
looking for ladders
and new light.
I have seen them scouring the borders,
scrubbing the skies of the realm.
I've heard the talk when the tides are high
of rotten hedgerows and the hawthorn
needed for the gap.
A white ship sails the blue land
all around our shores.
Holds the sides fast,
dances on the water.
A red jet diamond flies above the stones
and I can trace no reason in their trails
for bloodlust, or my enmity.
thistled rough clump of a burial
only just clear of the plough,
illdefined, sunken away.
no flowers for you.
once proud beacon
of the long rising spur
I salute your old bones,
unbidden and singing a song
about war. you drove
men to the ditch, like cattle
or they followed you, unbidden;
chief of the long shining spear.
old Battle Father, old grinder
of the smooth stone axe;
why is your memory now
like laughter of sun on the turf and the flowers?