Sunday, 17 October 2010

A change of route

So the Poetry Bus task this week (see here) is to break from our writing routine. This was quite easy for me as, if I do have a routine these days, it involves writing at home and this week I have been away on holiday all the time. I wrote these two poems out and about in the world and maybe you'd like to see if you can guess where - the more precise answer the better (and for some of you it will be quite easy). I won't put any photos - they'll all come next week when we return.


You don’t know me
Not very well
I don’t come here that often

Even today I was this close
Nearly headed south
Went for the new

Instead, quite a change
Your size and majesty
Just called me

And even the twelve pounds fifty ticket price
I couldn’t deny you
It was strange

Quakerly quiet
The guests all wrapped in headsets

I sit still
Stones all around us
And all is silence, huge and alone

RF 2010

Pockets of peace

By contrast it’s all go with the dinosaurs
We walk in free, lost deep in hordes

Backpacks, pushchairs, lunches, texting
See two-legged mammals steam through the species!

They take no prisoners, swooping, pacing
They move en masse, hunt hard and long

Older ones yawn, the hours so endless
Youngers ones stamp and howl and writhe

The business of life moves swiftly, swiftly
Holidays, playdays, work days all

We feel quite weary and seek out quiet
Go veg in a corner with a film about sea cows

We watch their slowness, take stock, stop touring
The swiftness, the hording, the rushing, the pain

RF 2010



hope said...

I'm guessing Stonehenge for the first and no clue for the second.

Hope you're having FUN no matter where your route takes you. :)

Peter Goulding said...

The first one is No 17, Hawthorn Avenue, Novosibirsk and the second one is Montrose vs Arbroath.
Both are exceptionally good.

Rachel Fenton said...

I like them both but I think the second pips it for me. You capture the human element in the evolutionary milieu. Lots of great lines in there.

Rachel Fox said...

No right answers yet. Some great ones though!

Karen said...

The stones would have led me to believe Stonehenge, but last time I was there, one couldn't even get close, so I'm wondering if it's not a newer cathedral of some sort. Talking to God and feeling alone?

The second one makes me think of the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian, but it could be any such museum.

In other idea but you have me thinking!

The Bug said...

I think the first one is Graceland :) Just kidding - I'm fairly certain there's no quiet there at all. And they probably charge in US dollars.

I love the second one - it reminds me of how I feel when I go to our local aquarium - exactly. I want to go sometime when there's no one else there.

Totalfeckineejit said...

I don't know where you have been, I'm just glad you're back!Did you know that T Rex was cannibalistic? I learned that today and in all honesty, my life goes on.
Was it The Rolling Stones you saw, or have dinosaurs gone to my brain.

A Brace of fine poetical embellishments whichever way you look at it! Brava! Und , encore!

Titus said...


The Natural History Museum is simply torture these days. I weep when I think of the treasure it used to be.

Foxed on the first one. Not Cathedral, no entry price. Nor Art Gallery, nor British Museum. Tower of London possible, but that can be noisy. Hmm, think on, Macduff...

Titus said...

St Paul's. I bet you pay for St Paul's as it's in The City.

Liz said...

Both good reads, Rachel, first one maybe somewhere royal and stately and second I go with the dinosaurs museum too like our good man TFE...(TFE: Discovery channel are in Tenerife this week seeking out evidence of T REXs carnivorous ways... ; )

Rachel Fox said...

And didn't we know it would be Titus who'd get them! Partly her close acquaintance with the London area of course for poem 1 was written in St Paul's Cathedral and poem 2 in the Natural History Museum (both in London). We're on our way home now. Back to real peace!

Rachel Fox said...

I didn't get much time to work on the poems I should add...might tweak them when I get home.

Titus said...

Do points mean prizes?

And I loved the poems, and they really did take me straight there...

Rachel Fox said...

A prize? Will have to think of something... although really that quiz must have been just too easy for you!

Kat Mortensen said...

As puzzles, I'm thinking Edinburgh Castle for the first. They wouldn't have headsets at Stonehenge, would they?

Is there a marine park in Scotland? I can't work out the second one, but as poems, I like them both. I like the majesty of the first and the madness of the second. Oh, and that word, "pain" at the end is really unusual.

Kat Mortensen said...

Ah, well if I'd known it was LONDON!

MuseSwings said...

Hmmm - Tower of London and a museum of natural history. I enjoyed both - looked around and enjoyed the sights.

Enchanted Oak said...

Good work, Rachel, in capturing two such different places in different tones too. I especially like the detachment in the first and the other kind of detachment in the second. I agree with Kat: that's a strong final line.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Cannot possibly imagine where you could be.

Rachel Fox said...

Look to Titus for the answers. In London, in'I? Well, I was.

Emerging Writer said...

St pauls - I believe it's extortionate and I do love the headphone tours. Shuts people up! Quakerly quiet indeed

and the natural history. Did you go on the earthquake machine?

NanU said...

The second sounds like Disneyland, in a way, with the crowds and certain venues have headsets, though the dinosaurs there are all plastic.
The first evokes a tour of the ruined Cathedral at St Andrews.
Of course I'm wrong! Suffice to read all the comments.

Rachel Fox said...

EW - yes, I very nearly said 'no way' to the huge price at St P's...and then I thought 'well, we've come all this way and I've never been inside (not even when I lived in London) and I might never be back here again...' so we went in. In fact it was a really good day and we stayed for hours. We did the full headphone tours, the others climbed all the steps, we had lunch in the crypt (very nice) and I did a lot of just sitting and thinking/watching (I found the frenzy of London very wearing and so enjoyed the peace in there). If we hadn't had to pay we probably wouldn't have stayed nearly so long or enjoyed it so much (you feel you have to get your money's worth when you've payed that much!).

We didn't see nearly all the NHM (free you see!) so no, we didn't get to quake machine (though sounds great!). Our girl is an animal lover so she was very happy to look at all the mammal section (for ages...). Her favourite things in London were the puppies for sale in Harrods (that's where we were last post...we didn't buy anything!), Chinatown and all the squirrels in the parks.

NanU - Disneyland is everywhere!



Jinksy said...

Twelve pounds fifty, eh? No wonder that poem bought you a ticket on the bus!

Rachel Fox said...

I know...there are concessions too obviously. £12.50 is the full adult price and it's not something I'd pay to go to church on a regular basis!

Jeanne Iris said...

I was thinking Stonehenge, too, for the first one until I read your response, and of course, the second was a museum of natural history. Love those dinosaurs! Enjoyed reading these, Rachel. Thank you!

Rachel Fox said...

Photos all up now here and here, Jeanne.