Thoughts on a Train to London

The train flies past silvery ponds and green grass. How it rolls and creaks. But no one minds. Because everyone is going somewhere and seeing the green grass, the silver ponds.

Are you still there? Or vanished in a dark tunnel? I can no longer reach you. Your voice has drifted away. Soaked up by leaves. Lost to the satellite. Yes? No, you are gone. Definitely gone.

Oast house
The oast house wears a little hat. It looks quite like a witch except its hat is white. Witches wear black hats. So the oast house does not look like a witch in a hat but perhaps it resembles a small windmill or a diminutive lighthouse. Perhaps it only resembles itself. However it is no longer an oast house but a residential dwelling which means it is just a white house with a hat somewhere in Kent.

The woman opposite in the red cardigan has lost her chin. I too have lost my chin, something of which I was once very proud of.

Thoughts 1
Since I last saw you I may have got fatter. I think this is due to the crisps I consume at half past five every afternoon. On the other hand my fatness may have been caused by the walnut whip I ate last Thursday. I do not think my fat is caused by myself but only what I eat.

Friendly 1
I try to be friendly. But it’s too much for the man in the shop, the commuter on the train. They see a crazed woman in a lime green top. They prefer someone who smiles but does not speak or make pronouncements.

Friendly 2
No one speaks on a commuter train. They do not drink wine from bottles or noisily eat crisps. Instead they flick newspapers which rustle like dead leaves.

Unexpected flowers on railway embankments

These small splashes of colour amidst the grass are something to delight the eye. As for how they are to my ear, this is another matter. Though I cannot hear them, I know they sing. The pale flowers whisper – the whites, lavenders and subdued pinks – the poppies shout, the daisies murmur and the dandelions are like trumpets. Of course you may disagree.

Slow train
When the train is slow it feels as if you will never reach your destination but if you are not destined to reach the end of your journey when you expect to quite frankly there is nothing you can do but practice patience, even though this may be a task almost beyond your capabilities.

Delayed train
The train is delayed due to inclement weather but in reality there is only a little late autumn rain and a chill in the grey air. Perhaps a large wet leaf has fallen on the rails causing slippage? Perhaps the signalman forgot to flick a switch? No wind blows, no snow falls and I see no sign of a tornado, a twister or a cyclone, just a small patch of blue, the drip of raindrops from bracken, a patch of moss. When the train finally arrives it crawls along as if expecting some new disaster. I see only the serried ranks of trees, a lone crow, a solitary pine, a small stream. So, on we go, slowly, hoping for a safe journey.

I am not quite certain where the city ends and the countryside begins. At the edges of the city are paddocks and copses, a few scattered farms and cows which cast long shadows on the winter grass, then suddenly a warehouse and a collection of small houses and the fields are gone.

The home of writer Bronwen Griffiths