Public transport

November 8, 2011

“It’s embarrassing

lifting up your skirt in public.”


Cold avoidance of eyes

Ache of pride

Anger in the voice

Humiliation – to find himself a competitor.


Drop the lip

Shield the heart

Last word

Walk away


And he is left

In the absence of word-arrows

flying away with her

Anger now awkward.


I look up

And he has followed her

into the next carriage

the next exchange

With hope (cruel and needy)

In his gait


Train travel

November 4, 2011

A car is a room where one or two or several people are caught within each other’s space for a short or a long time. The most intimate conversations can be had, and the most deafening silences felt.

Public transport offers something different. The same intimate conversations can occur, but with an audience. The same silences can be felt, but from strangers, who hide in a book or feign sleep or are trapped in shyness or glare if attempted contact misfires.

I spent many hours on public transport over the last couple of days, and thoroughly enjoyed most of it. A chance to remember my place in collective human-kind.
Copy of southern_cross_station
A warm shawl around me while I drew this fabulous roof, “Are you OK there? It’s a bit cold. Ah yes you still have 14 minutes.” said a friendly conductor (not the fat controller).

Copy of train travellers
This young man thanked me for drawing him. And so did the woman. But her friend glowered at me for my intrusion so I didn’t risk any further eye contact and was happy to not draw her. Most people, though a little self-conscious, are taken over by curiosity and want to see the drawing. I love these gentle meetings with strangers.