NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

Malcolm Goodall, with apologies to John Betjeman's “Middlesex”

 

Sitting in  the ‘Three Cooks' café

Brought here by the morning train

Drinking mugs of steaming coffee

Trying to engage my brain

Thoughts assemble into stanzas

Forming into this refrain:

 

Gently into Newark Castle rolls the Central diesel train.

Waits the crowd of grim commuters, patiently in sun or rain.

Half a dozen more at Lowdham, in the centre aisle we crowd ‘em

Heading for the teeming city, each a living to obtain.

 

Stow the bag and brolly safely, buy a ticket from Simone;

Sleep or read or write or gaze or chat upon the mobile phone.

Recognise familiar faces, hurry to the crowded places,

Slave in office, shop, or mill to pay the hire purchase loan.

 

Gently into Newark Castle rolls the Central diesel train.

Off the platform people hurry, anxious to get home again;

Past the line of Smeaton's Arches, and where droughted wheatfield parches,

Back to villa, farm, and cottage, scattered down a country lane.