Saturday, 20 October 2012

Bus note 24

        The boy's blazer's spittle streaked
        and his specs a touch too grown up.
Down from the college
the older brother comes,
        learning to like his not belonging yet
        some of the way in now. He stops
and says in scratched acidic voice, Again!
        Our kid nods, a look made stupid
        with everyday harrying, hurts
        learnt as basic rule.
When the bus comes, the blazer
steps up slow/steady to the top deck.
        It's three stops on
        till the collegian goes up too.
The thing is, you get blisters watching
the same ground tread.
        A piece of living gets its staying shape.


  1. An extremely affecting and specific picture of the persistence of that hoary tradition of schoolboy bullying that has bent countless lads permanently out of shape down through the musty centuries in this small land whose ruling classes once put the same cruel tactics to use in arrogating power over much of the world -- all this seeming more than a bit anachronistic now, but then when were anthropological techniques of domination ever really timely (much less reasonable, or, perish the thought, compassionate)?

  2. Thank you, TC. This one was painful to write.

    We're undoubtedly haunted by the Imperium and that shapes how we think about power and use it. There's also something older and darker running through this; they had to write it out in spit.