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Thursday, 23 November 2017

Stopping by Railway Tracks on a Snowy Evening in Charlton

Stopping by Railway Tracks on a Snowy Evening in Charlton

Whose mind this was I thought I knew.
Whose mind this was I thought I knew.
It had always been built for two: then me, without you.
The game had been awful, one, then two
and snow flecked the air, unassuming, ice bit and chewed,
at the face. All for nought in return.


You hadn’t even asked for permission to speak
of leaving me on earth, never mind take a leak,
because nothing will come of nothing,
falling fully formed as your selfish afterthought,
like hot ice scoring the face when all flesh is glass.


And the railway gates looming. Red lights.
The barriers looming, unassuming. Flashing, in tandem,
blinking red, red, red, red, nothing random.
Bitter winds freeze the cheeks with tears and cut at the crust,
our dream is over, the dumb and idle plot mistrust.


Some rotten lies made by the state, where once there were lives,
summer becomes winter with the slashing of the scythe.
Canker in the ears, a cancer, but we had built it so strong,
so how could we possibly have been so wrong?


Yes Iago, I hear you. I hear you.


Your bunkered voice. Buried. Hidden deep in my soul’s cellar.
Come forth. Shatter my practised impression of a decent fellow.


Let’s step onto the tracks, looking forwards never back.
Oh, Iago, if it be that, if it be that.
A scrap of flesh born before you ever died, Iago,
before you ever died, is not reason enough
to ever assume we deserve to stay alive.


Step on the track. The barriers are coming down now.
Whispers in the staff room. The dream is a reckless lover,
so face the train, fuck tomorrow’s hangover, cross over.
Talk of bloody smears, rather than settle scores, face it with a grin,
our undiscovered country, our bitter state, now kiss some sense of sin,


Iago, step on the track, and even if we don’t, I’ll never come back,
because they possess the kind of stupidity we lack.
Despair Iago, fuck them, for all the wrong I ever did was drink
and trust to love. Michael Cassio we put a thief in their brains
my friend, we loved too much, we needs must face the train.


Face the train, Desdemona, sing some song of willow
and weep for the children. Now all it takes is a step,
until the light from Woolwich is nearer and nearer yet.
We have done the state some service and they know it.
I will not be saved by some scrap of flesh that God beget.


Ah. Well. Avon.
So still here, and so it goes.


And I guess I’ll be telling this story, ages and ages hence.
Snow flecked thoughts written in present perfect sense.
How I stood beside a railway track in Charlton, straddling the fence.
To always wonder did it make any difference?