Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 14th of May 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

We continue this month’s theme of trains with a poem by Davy D called Trainspotting. The poem describes the experience of waiting for a train at Haddenham and Thame Parkway railway station and how doing something different, like not getting on the train, can help break habit and provide a different experience for poetry.

If you have difficulty listening to the show a text version of the poem is included after the sound bar.

To hear this recording of Poetic Beats please press the arrow to the left of the sound bar below.





Neon shadows follow across

a deserted platform as

November’s wind rattles

the corrugated shelter.

Inside, blue and yellow shout

Oxford to London

disturbing an empty coke can.


Between the swoosh of

electronic doors, eyes in

love’s first bloom. Business

suits and trainers striding

for pole position; muted

conversation rising above

a now constant whirr.


Apple Macs open.

Samsung and Sony

compete for trade.

Pen and paper lay

out battle lines.


The train now arriving at platform 2.


Blurs of black, grey and

blue charge the doors,

frenzied moments en-route

to final pay slips. Madness

limping to a bleak horizon,

leaving solitude and

silence to be reconciled.


© Davy D 2018


A beautifully compact poem, Davy, expressing in precise images that, unavoidable for so many, experience of the working world’s daily commute. An enjoyable episode of your Poetic Beats.

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I enjoyed hearing this very much. Afterwords, I reread your poem several times to help me imagine what being on a train in 2018 would be like. You see, there aren’t any trains where I live, and so it has been decades upon decades’s since I have been on one. As a little girl in Cleveland, Ohio it was a form of transportation. The rapid transit we called it.
And that was an exciting journey I’d take with my mother when we’d go downtown.

The one and only train running north and south anymore from Miami through Ft. Lauderdale and up through the state, is rarely used any more. However, my youngest son, when he was in high school, used it. He, along with a group of his fellow drama students needed to go to a state theatre competition so they boarded the old railway on their way to the state capitol. The air was filled with high anticipation, the laughter of youthful carefreeness. Many carried along with them guitars and other instruments and they sang and performed all the way up on their long journey. Nobody had a phone at that time. But, my son (The one who is now in the film industry) had a small video camera with him and he filmed it all. So, my last images of a train were waving goodbye watching these beautiful creative young actors as they left the station, and seeing them return a few days later donning multiple awards they had won as state champions for their performances. Afterwards, we watched the video my then teenage son had created. I could see first hand all the fun they experienced going for a 4-5 hour train ride.
Not until I read your poem today, did my mind go back on a train journey. You vividly captured what it felt like to experience a ride. How different it must be today. All electronics and people ignoring each other and focusing only on their phones,iPads or laptops. The train sounds a soft whisper in the background. All the technology rather Takes the romance out of the journey doesn’t it?
Still, I thank you very much for taking me along with you on a poetic train ride again…. I suddenly feel like watching “Murder on the Orient Express”.😉

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    Lesley thank you for your kind words and thoughts and for sharing that lovely and personal story. I am so pleased the poem brought back such happy memories. The trains are a major part of travel over here in the UK, but they are becoming so expensive to travel on. Many are now like mobile offices and part of train travel is having to put up with the constant background noise created by various technologies. I bought my wife Murder on the Orient Express for Christmas. We must get around to watching it soon. Hope all is well with you and it is always a pleasure to see your comments on my posts.

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      I rented the newest one with Johnny Depp and Kenneth Branagh and Liked it quite a lot. But then it had so many of my favorite actors and I love the story so I am sure I would have enjoyed it no matter who was in the film. I know you and your wife will like it. I need to watch it again and then compare it to Agatha’s original book version.

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      We should compare notes Lesley. Have a good weekend 🙂


Your poetic talent is amazing, Davy. You reflected on an experience many face as their daily routine so vividly, I felt I was there. This piece brought back memories of my train rides when I visited London and also a few times in the US. Thankfully, most of my train rides were for pleasure and not for a daily commute.

With that said, a few of my train experiences in London were quite memorable because we were going from where we were staying to Lloyds of London during the morning rush. Yikes!!

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    Thank you for your kind and humbling words Eugenia. They are deeply appreciated. Travelling on the trains above and below ground in London is definitely an experience and having been away from it for a few years I wonder how I coped with it on a daily basis for over 30 years. It is funny how we adapt to these situations and they become our norm. I sometimes miss being squashed in a carriage with a hundred other people 🙂

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Davy, such a strong poem you brought for this week’s Poetic Beats.
In a few stanzas you paint a vivid picture of today’s life on a commuter train. I like how the line “disturbing an empty coke can.” gives a lonely feel to that station and also how you end with “Madness
limping to a bleak horizon,
leaving solitude and
silence to be reconciled.”
These stand out against the bustle of all the modern technology.

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    Thank you for your kind words and thoughts Miriam and I am pleased those lines jumped out for you. Sometimes the silence and solitude just hits you because it is something we rarely experience these days. Being on a train and at a railway station seems to be an extension of a business office. I don’t tend to use the train much these days but seem to notice the noise more when I am on there. Have a good weekend 🙂

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Your poem is wonderful, Davy! Your descriptions made me feel like I was on the commuter train and experiencing everything!
I’ve never been a commuter train (I’ve been on train-trains, though. You know, like “choo choo!”) and it sounds like an busy scene where a person could feel excited as part of the hustle-bustle or a person could feel panicky/unsafe.
Well, it must be an interesting place to people-watch! 🙂
Another GREAT Poetic Beats!!! 🙂 Thank you!!! 🙂
HUGS!!! 🙂
PS…Oh, I just remembered! I did ride on BART in San Francisco, CA!
PSS…OOH! I look forward to next week! Piracy?! I always wanted to be a pirate’s wench! 😀

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Davy, I’ve been thinking about this poem a lot over the last couple of days. I took in all the sights and sounds you painted with your words. The train even disturbed my dish washing. It has left a lasting impression on me. Beautiful. Oh, I think I hear it now.

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    Laura, I am glad you got those feeling and thoughts from the poem as I find the descriptive poems a little more difficult to write. This poem has changed many times since the original draft. Thank you for your kind words and feedback and it is nice to know when a poem connects with a reader. Have a great weekend 🙂


daily commute train rides can take us to so many places, physically and also in our minds. enjoyed your keen observations and also the clever way it was connected with every day struggles. it’s one of those places where social hierachy does not depend on your economic status but rather on your basic humanity. i have been noticing more and more that younger people give respect to old and disabled commuters than in earlier years. Love the train ride when I travel around the world. Allows me to be part of the local experience. A most beautiful poem and one I am reading over to get more wisdom from the mind of Davy D.

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    Thank you for your kind words and thoughts Gina they are most appreciated. I think there is a powerful connection between trains and writers and maybe something to do with movement. I find I can get a better flow of ideas when I am on a train. I agree with your thoughts about the younger generation, the same is true over here in the UK.

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