Slow Train to Tipton

We pull out of Walsall as slow as a summer breeze,
barely moving fast enough it seems to stir the trees.
Once chicken sandwiches are consumed there’s little to do,
than gaze out of the train’s window at the view.
Watching clouds scroll calmly across a hot June sky,
hovering over cranes and scaffolding helping a new town arise.
While we’re overtaken by cars and lorries on an adjacent motorway,
unlike us speeding swiftly on their way.
Then we crawl through yards of rusty stock and freight,
my plans for today condemned it seems to wait.

Two seats down the lad in black denim closes his eyes,
feet and fingers tapping to a song in his mind.
Other passengers stare at phones or blow on hot coffee
stirring and shifting in the train’s uncomfortable seats.
While the red of brick and green of tree,
slowly parade past the window for all to see.
People amble on board at every frequent stop,
starting long journeys or short commuter hops.
As the world turns, stars burn, planets are born then die,
the slow train to Tipton goes steadily by.


Like a blind man in a minefield
I make my way through life.
Each step a risk yet
afraid to stop and
unable to go back I press on.
Determined that some part of me
will reach the end.