Tuesday, 8 May 2012

deep in the heart of nowhere

Yes. I remember Dullingham -
The name, because one afternoon
Damply, the train pulled up there
Unnecessarily.  It was early May.

The rain pissed. I cleared my throat.
No one moved, on or off -
Just a bare platform. What I saw
Was Dullingham - name and nature.

And rain clouds, indescript trees,
And more bloody rain; nothing dry.
I looked up expecting nothing more
Than rain from the clouds in the sky.

And for those minutes, really, nothing sang.
Nothing. Not a thing.
Just clouds and nothing else
In Cambridgeshire or Suffolk.

 with apologies to Edward Thomas.


Brendini said...

Very good. Like it, Centurion. :)

Anonymous said...


The resemblance to one of my own efforts, namely "Adlestrop", cannot be coincidental. My lawyers will be in touch.


Ed. Thomas (Mr.)

Postscript: I am informed by them that I have been deceased for more than the statutory 70 years, so "go for it", as the younger sort say.

Dave Leeke said...

Brendan, thanks.

Anonymous (yourself a successful poet with thousands of poems to your name), as I sat at the station on Sunday I thought bemusedly that if Thomas had sat there in the dull drizzle instead of Adlestrop on a beautiful day, he'd probably never had even written such a wonderful poem. Mind you, maybe he would never had signed up and died in WW1. Still, who's to say?

I decided to parody the poem instead of just musing about it as it's what he did. Write a poem, that is.


Anonymous said...

No need to be sorry, young man. I am encouraged to know that my work is still read. Last thing I remember, there was a big bang, and now here I am. It's all very strange.

I understand I'm famous now. As is my good friend Bob Frost. Whoda thunk it? as Bob often said.

I see the trains are no better, though.


Dave Leeke said...

Well certainly since the 1960s they seem to have got worse - and Adlestrop station was closed down. Thanks, Dr Beeching.

Ironically, it's one of the most famous stations thanks to your wonderful poem.

Nice to know the internet is so far-reaching that you can get it in Heaven. Still think that you should have taken the "road less travelled"? Or perhaps the other one might have worked out better?

Martyn Cornell said...

Excellent work. Can't say I'd ever heard of Dullingham either: sounds like it ought to be next door to Little Snoring.

Dave Leeke said...

Hi Martyn, thanks for the link. We flew from Norwich International Airport once - the plane was slightly delayed because a farmer was still ploughing the field!

Mike C. said...

I was given for Christmas an enjoyable little book called "Far From Dull", most of which is photos of road signs to places with amusing (or bizarre) names.

A classic "loo library" item: