Detention - The Bus

This poem/painting was prompted in part by miner B.L.Coombes' wonderful autobiography, These Poor Hands:

Detention - the Bus                                   

Kept in, I caught a service bus

home: nine miles, changing at Pandy,

where I climb metal stairs and sit

among sullen men hunched forward

on their way to work.  No one spoke

above the bus din, but dust shifts

in jags of sunlight when someone

coughs or blows smoke on the donkey

jacket in front.   Brash, I light up

in solidarity.

                         These men,

anonymous in their work clothes,

strangers all to me, readying

themselves in mute conspiracy

for the penal shift, doing what

they do, out of sight, underground,

the smell of dark already thick

on them. 

                   Streets inch by in failing

light: John, Crichton, Stuart… roll-calling

that master of detention who’d

not set foot on Bute Square.  My stop.

Posted by Gillian Thomas on
Hi Robert
Just been looking at your poems and paintings....I like them especially the ones of Treherbert and Penpych. I see that your thoughts still go back to your "roots". Reading about travelling
on the school bus from County and the white line in Penyrenglyn separating girls from boys made me smile. Do you still like Buddy Holly's music too? You have reminded of all those names from the past....Terry Pugh, Colin Evas, Colin Terrell, Islwyn Thorne. Hope you are well ...had not realised you were an artist too.
Gill (Perkins)
Posted by robert on
Thanks, Gill. Glad you 'like'. Some things always stay with you, like the white line, though I think I've nearly got over Buddy Holly now! Take care. Rob.
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