Picture of Underground Escalators courtesy of James Rainsford

Stainless strips and steps in Londontown;
where I hear those deep beat busking sounds.
Come with oyster early, cash in hand;
Ride the Central line beneath the Strand.
Sliding doors I change at London Bridge
Merging there with slackers nouveau riche.
At Canary Wharf my friends await.

Leaving late to lurch through Bishopsgate
Past St. Paul’s two hops a skip away.
‘cross the Thames where I could stay,
Dance entranced the new Globe’s wooden stage;
While near Bow bells oldtime minstrels play.

Cockney garb adorned with pearls that spell
Bloomin’ love that’s built on Roman ruins.
Some might long to leave for rural lands;
But I yearn to live my life in that grand
Old town a rumblin’ on the Underground.

(c) Gay Cannon 2011 * All Rights Reserved

16 thoughts on “TUBETOWN

  1. Reminds me of our Toronto subway… nice images here

    “Dance entranced the new Globe’s wooden stage;
    While near Bow bells oldtime minstrels play.”

  2. Gay, I said it before and I’ll say it again! With poets like you, this country bumpkin will never have to step off her front porch to see the world. Love the form, the flow, the imagery, and the sweet escape to London town…if only for a moment!

  3. nice…the stage itself bein a wonderful place, would love to hear the minstrels and watch the dance…like a good ride on the tubes as well, such interesting people on it…smiles.

  4. I love that pic of James’ and your poem just rumbles right up the escalator and back down the other side. I am now an accidental tourist let loose in London. Loved the meter and smooth rhyme, as well.

  5. Wonderful Gay! I lived outside of London for a while and this really brought it all back. I was especially enamored with the reference to the Globe where I saw a marvelous Midsummer Night’s Dream. I spent a lot of time hauling books up and down the Thames from all the glorious art museums. Tate Modern has an unbelievable bookstore that I never wanted to leave. Thanks for flooding back happy memories!

  6. you brought me back to london with this gay…just realized i never wrote a poem about london and quite a few about rome…strange…i love the london subway..think there would be material for hundreds of poems just by riding it and watching the people.. it was so great meeting you there and happy we’re still on a team together

  7. oh dear….as lovely a poem as it is…i travelled that damn central line for 16 years!!!!!! havent been back on it since 1998, black cab for me whenever in the city now….mind you been once this century….hope all well…pete

  8. Gay, this poem brings back memories of those cavernous depths and arteries ‘neath Londontown. Loved this line especially: “Bloomin’ love that’s built on Roman ruins.” A truly great city-poem.

  9. Wow Gay, This certainly does much more than justice to my photo. I loved the meter and rhyme in this. I just read it aloud in my cocky accent and it sounds amazingly authentic. Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention & for the acknowledgement. For your information the shot is of the escalators at Colliers Wood Station on the Northern Line. Taken only moments before the station closed around midnight.
    Brilliant write, James.

  10. James I had that thought this was Tottenham Court Station when I first saw it; but I looked up pix and it looked like the one posted for Wimbledon. I wrote that somewhere and I thought under the picture. If I find where I wrote it; (might have been a tweet) I’ll change it to Colliers Wood Station. I was sure I’d been there; now I must go check if I’ve actually been at the Colliers Wood Station. All smiles…thank you so much for the prompt. I was tardy in getting my poem posted and no one visited or commented on it; so I thought I’d re-link it when Claudia asked for a poem about our favorite cities.

    I love many cities and have been to every one of any size in the US and I think in Canada. Actually if you count the train station in Cardiff where they wouldn’t talk to me, I think all of the ones of any size in the UK, too. I may not have exited the train in Coventry or in Exeter, just passed through smiling out the train window. But I bumped around in most of the others from Inverness to Glasgow to Edinburgh; Manchester, Birmingham — oh forgot, didn’t see Liverpool or Blackpool. I was warned against traveling there alone by well meaning friends. I’m sure I would have been safe there and in ’92 the Troubles were still bubbling so I promised my mother I wouldn’t go to Northern Ireland thus missing (London)Derry and Belfast. So I guess there’s still a lot more to see – must go back, of course! Saw Galway in a gale, and spent tons of time in Dublin. But every train I caught to see more of the country, my little voice kept saying, “but you could go back to London” and each time I’ve returned to the UK since, I have!

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