Well the first four or five days of being a poet in residence for all Peterborough bus routes has been so much fun and I am genuinely enjoying getting to know the city better, especially as I assumed I knew all there is to know about this place that is often my muse and somewhere I consider to be like a honeycomb of memories and security that as a hungry bear I can’t help but gorge myself on. So far, surprising and romantic are the two words that are brought to my mind when thinking of this project, I have seen street names I never knew before, landmarks that I have heard of but have never seen and so much more.
What I can say is that the surprise comes from going to places that people can often say are the crap areas to live and being amazed at how much pride people have in their houses and gardens and how much effort they make to care for where they live, so don’t believe the hype, next time take a harder look.
Also I have been really pleased that when I have mentioned to bus drivers what I am doing they don’t look at me like a bag of frogs but actually relate to what I am doing, so I might have hit on something here.
Apparently the romance comes from the work I am producing after the routes I have travelled on and so far I have done 3 of the proposed 12 I am aiming to do. As I am sitting quietly listening and looking intently at everything like a deranged bus spotter I make notes on my phone of what I see and encounter and then when I get home I write a list poem for each route.
When I read out two of my finished ones out to my best friend, critic and husband he commentated that I had actually made bus travel romantic in some way. So I am going to keep this up. I have also included one below which is based on the Citi 2 bus, take a look and let me know what you think?
If you see me then please do say hello as you might end up in on of the pieces.
£4 day rider,
Pushing people further down,
Chatter about who did what to whom,
in fact she talked all the way to the harrier.
St George’s hydro pool,
A chapel that was,
Enlarged in 1853,
‘Bye bye Skye’,
Paston ridings but
Witham way, I thought it said Walt Whitman way,
hidden school uniform,
the ties were off
so as to not complain to their teachers.
Everyone ignored them,
Lake District heroes,
Gypsy ponies in Gunthorpe,
The Bluebell pub,
The sandwich shop opposite the fire station.
I passed Julie and Michael’s house,
We passed Kate and her children.
I smiled at her,
she did not see me.
I was glad to glimpse her,
It reminded me to make her cake sometime.