Thursday, 8 August 2013

Rubber Soled Feet

I always find travelling to be inspiring as it can elucidate my muddy thoughts and bring the creative juices to the fore. New York is one of those places that I always find particularly appetising, the city has a an energy to it and there are boundless stories existing all around you as you walk through the city. You can only really walk through some big capital cities and really enjoy it, Paris is one, Rome can be too, but New York for me is the best city to explore and immerse yourself within it's depths. So I end up on the subway finding myself constantly people watching, in as unobtrusive a manner as possible. I call it artistic observation, others may call it staring.

I'm fascinated by the people thronging around the city, bringing it to life, and so of course I wrote some stuff, some stories, some poetry, some observations....whatever you want to call them....

'Rubber Soled Feet'

Rubber soled feet press
against the rail
in comfort
at being the king of the carriage;
lording above the dirty floor
and stretching out spidery limbs.

His mother sleeps,
her chin lodged into the skin
around her neck,
her cross pressing into
the flesh
where it will leave an imprint.

He mutters an imaginary
melody tunelessly
with a bobbing neck.
His baby sister briefly observes
and closes her eyes
in the cocoon of her mothers bosom.

The stifling humidity
lulls him to sleep
and his eyelids flutter,
then he remembers the space
around him and reaches
out into the heavy air.

His fingers curl into a fist
to punch the air
at an invisible foe,
all the while his limbs stretching
into the space
and his soles hit the window.

A Man gets into the carriage
and sits heavily,
his giant frame 
taking up so much
more space than this
little boy could hope to occupy.

He stops his games
and stares.
Eager eyes devouring.
The Man turns to him
with a settled gaze
and lifts his eyelids.

They stare for a moment,
and then slowly the boy
retracts his feet,
curling them underneath
where they are safe
and protected.

The carriage suddenly
seems too small
for stretching limbs,
and the boy retreats 
into himself, fascinated
by the man's steady breathing.

The mother awakens
on cue for their stop.
Grabbing her children
she pulls them off,
leaving the Man as the king.


  1. Like i told you on twitter i think you are a "very creative genius". This is another confirmation. I'm not an expert or a poetry teacher but your way to write is in part so modern, innovative and in the other side, reminds me "Les po├Ętes maudits" that i adore.

  2. I could see the scene as I was reading, it's lovely. I think all of us do a little people watching. How could you not? People are fascinating. New York's great isn't it? I've only driven up there a few times, but I love it, not the traffic though *shudders*. It's fun to lose yourself in the hustle and bustle for a little while. Enjoy your time here!

  3. I had the whole scene in my head whilst reading. Good poem! You can learn a lot by observing people, it's good! I love your work, you are very talented!x

  4. The imagery in this piece is spot on. Nice work!

  5. It was very real until I read it!

  6. great people watching - I love to people watch but next time I am going to think about how to capture this in words - you have inspired me.

  7. so I bit the bullet and decided to write my observations at the COLD premier - not written anything before apart from essay's years ago for exams. But I remember thinking how shy you seemed - or it may be I am just so NOT shy. anyway this is inspired about what I saw and felt at the COLD premier purely my views - The man being Mr Eoin C Macken also not done a blog thing before so another new thing - LOL :)

  8. Thank you Eoin for this wonderful poem. as I told you at ColdCon2 I have been missing them terribly.

  9. bringing back my years in NYC

  10. I wrote poems a lot when I was younger. Don't really know why I stopped. This wonderful piece of art, as all that you've published, inspires me to continue where I left not too many years ago.
    I like to watch people, especially in larger cities. Though I've never been to such a large city as NY I might add. Gothenburg suits me at the moment. You should visit it someday.

    Why the bananas? Took me a while to realise what it was in top of your head, and then I couldnt stop smile. But it made me curious too, if there's a story behind them?
    Anyway, thank you for another lovely poem, and for some laughing too. I'll tell people it's artistic observation next time they wonder why I enjoy watching people as they move on with their lives, so much.

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  12. Wow. I have a feeling this poem will stick with me and make itself known inside my head every time I take the tubes. The last line, for me, was very powerful and I don't think I'll ever forget that metaphor and dynamic.
    But truthfully, I think all your poems will stick with me pop up in my head throughout the day especially those days where I am alone - or even when I am surrounded by friends but somehow feel isolated - and it seems as though I am just a mere observer, watching behind a window, rather than a participant.
    Your poems make me reflective and thoughtful. They are familiar; I can almost see these scenes happening, maybe because I have. Yet, they open up a new perspective that lets me understand things in a whole new way. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that they're quite wonderful and I quite adore them.
    Paris is definitely one of those cities that I find so terrifyingly effortless to lose myself in. When you're there, everything seems so much bigger and so much more beautiful than they may actually be. But sometimes I wonder if the cities like Paris and NY are so full of energy and all things captivating only because the people believe it to be so. Because, in my opinion, every place is full of fascinating stories and people, but many, including myself, seem to forget this because we presume to have seen everything when we are surrounded by things we've become accustomed to.
    I'll probably go ahead and read the rest of your poems, although I don't think I'll be commenting on any more because, well, I feel like I'm just making a fool of myself.
    Hope you're having a lovely day!
    (deleted previous comment and posted the 2.0 version of it because of atrocious spelling mistakes. guess i've managed to make a fool out of myself without commenting on every poem. unsurprisingly.)

  13. Would you be interested in writing a post on your writing process as part of a blog tour?
    If you are you can contact me through my blog at alysinunderland.wordpress. com