Grey Skies

The sea is a churning mass of slate,

with white wave tips smashing into each other,

under a dull, colourless sky.

The wind rolling off the water is cold,

with specks of saltwater corroding iron railings and car bonnets.

But in a far flung corner of the sky, sunbeams struggle through the clouds,

because grey skies always give way to blue ones.


Puffs of smoke try to escape the wide brim of his Stetson,

curling in the still heavy air.

They form spirals and coils,

writing messages in a strange alphabet.

I try to form pictures from the tendrils,

desperate for any glimpse of a future I seem to have no control over,

but all I see are white horses galloping across an endless blue expanse.

The One in Front

A tinny voice over the speakers,

“Just to confirm, this is NOT the Dundee train.

The Dundee train is the one in front.”

An older man in a high-vis jacket,

“Excuse me, miss, but the Dundee train is the one in front.”

Me, a surly girl with a Pikachu t-shirt, and a 50 tonne laptop,

“I’m not going to Dundee.”

A middle-aged WASP. I imagine she’s from Pennsylvania. I know she’s on the wrong train before she opens her mouth.┬áThere are no tourist destinations where this train is going.

“Excuse me, does this train go to Leuchars?”

I see her eying my red hair and try not to sigh,

“No, that’s the Dundee train. The one in front.”

“There is no train in front of this one.”

“Well then, I guess you missed it.”


The round table is adorned with jewels of red and green,

peppers and olives and pastries and meats.

Don McLean croons softly in the background,

as he talks about guacamole and she talks about her weekend off.

The rabbit stares longingly at the table,

stuck behind thin metal bars,

as the summer breeze rustles the leaves of the dead plant on the windowsill.


Office workers wilt in crumpled white shirts,

children giggle as they trundle past on wobbly bikes,

tourists walk with jackets tied round their waists,

obviously unprepared for the hot summer of a cold country,

joggers plow past, punishing themselves,

so they can look good by the pool in Majorca,

and the old dog pants as he stumbles behind his sprightly owner.

Waiting for the Train

The platform is blanketed in blessed shade,

the train is late, and it is too hot.

A middle aged woman covers herself in suntan lotion.

A young man speaks a foreign language on the phone,

perhaps calling to tell someone he’s going to be late.

A woman in a high-via vest walks up and down the platform,

watering the flowers with plastic containers filled with water.

Rabbits on the Train

Little brown masses litter the slope beside the track,

repopulating what once was barren.

For years, the warren seemed abandoned.

One of the home owners probably complained.

“They dig up my garden.”

“They drive my dog mad.”

But they were here first,

before your house was built,

before the railway lines dissected the countryside.

And when we are nothing more than bones in the ground,

there will still be rabbits hopping over our graves.