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.