Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Right Train - with apologies to W.H. Auden

I was very pleased  to have a poem accepted for publication on Poetry 24 last week. Here it is in full.It helps if you have some knowledge of the original Auden poem: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/night-mail-2/

This is my fantasy take on what could have happened to shorten the border control queues, but of course, it didn't. I had a mental picture of Theresa May piling the queues of immigrants onto trains to ship them off to dig turnips in the Lincolnshire fields for a pittance. Madness! 

The Right Train

These are the passengers crossing the border,
Waiting to check that all is in order,
Passports from the rich, passports from the poor,
They queue round the corner and out of the door.
It’s a hell of a task, a mountain to climb:
Calling them forward one a time.
Then here comes one who’s somewhat bolder
To see for herself what Brodie told her,
Snorting sniffily as she passes,
The grumbling miles of weary masses,
They all turn their heads as she approaches,
And herds them into the waiting coaches.
It’s a pilot scheme and it’s set on course;
To bolster the local labour force
Whilst shortening the queues at the lowest cost,
For the minimum wage, all paperwork lost.
Theresa smiles. Her work is done.
Down towards Parliament she descends
Towards politicians at Question Time,
Towards journalists and assembled media
Waiting to hear her proclamation.
The United Kingdom waits for her:
Huddled round TV screens, computers, iPhones
Men long for news.
She’s made up her mind to close her ears,
To her loyal employee who’s served 40 years.
Denies all knowledge of collusion.
No, this is his own final solution.
He takes the hint with resignation, 
Then states his case to the waiting nation.
But Theresa’s reputation’s intact,
And Brodies’s statement can’t detract,
From her kitten heels and perfect bob,
Come what May; He’ll lose his job.
And he will wake soon and long for letters,
And will not hear the postman’s knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
Marilyn Brindley


  1. Excellent poem! Teresa May doesn't endear herself to many, but the faux shock and fury she displayed with this was an Oscar-worthy performance.

  2. Excellent. I remember learning the original at school, then more recently saw a quilt made, inspired by the poem, which I wrote about here http://anglersrest.blogspot.com/2011/09/creative-stitches-crafts-part-three.html

  3. And we at Poetry24 were pleased to receive such a clever and carefully crafted contribution.

  4. Now that is wonderful. I remember the original poem - the rhythm of it and it is that rhythm that you capture so well.


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