Transparent Words - Poetry


     Arthur Seeley
The Bus
The sameness of company
comfortable as old slippers.
The Wrinkly Express
lumbers through a spring
that froths and flutes
down avenues of blossom.
lauded and applauded,
of some standing
in upper echelons of the Lions,
he smiles and greets us
from under a snapped-neb cap
and over a lurid sneer of a tie;
bedraggled as a field-dog's ear,
luncheon meat sandwiches
and flask, rolled in his mac,
goes to join the ramblers
 "over Leeds someplace",
nods, affable and knowing.
Stuart and wife
mount the steps.
He, cherub-cheeked, pink, pert as a robin,
clutching a black-bound psalter
with lolloping dog-tongued bookmarks.
Ringing greetings are bestowed
upon the congregation of the bus.
               She, raddled, rotund and rouged,
               basks in the benison of his presence
               glows in adoration,
               beams through a snaggle of teeth,
               moves to a separate pew.
The poet,
preoccupied and peripheral,
smiles at distances-
eyes as busy as bees in a pea patch.
wears the same dirty hat, greased and jaunty,
jammed on uncut, unkempt hair
that sprays in wisps, sprouts like privet.
The same sag-arsed trousers
crumpled in Alpine folds over
the same perhaps-once-white trainers.
Always at the the same stop
for the same seat
on the same bus.
Behind glasses,
murky as an uncleaned aquarium,
dewy eyes swim through gloomy deeps.
Tattooed hand, self-inflicted once-upon-a- love,
where " Linda" grips and fondles
the yellowing bone-handled head of his stick,
Does he notice spring?
What music plays as he sways
to the waltz of gear and brake?
Her at 48,
tight prison of her face tics
startled by a torn ticket
like a deer
hiding in a thorn thicket
anorak chained to chin
life locked out
self locked in.
The Oriental Lady,
 of short stride
  sallow skin
  cymbals thin
  to sneeze
  as she turns to watch
  strange hills that match
  her incongrous
  by-gum voice.
Our Albert
him with one lens missing
from his glasses
and the full plastic bags he takes to town-
and returns with them empty!
getting rid of his missus in bits
we reckon
but say nothing
only look out of the windows
to watch spring spring.
The Bus
bumps and halts
at the new station
spews us into town
where we won't be noticed.
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