Thursday, 8 December 2011


Today I had a meeting in London which unfortunately, I had to attend. Having flown from Guernsey to Gatwick I took the train into central London this meant that I had to stand in the cold drizzle on a station platform for quarter of an hour waiting for a train to arrive.

Three minutes before the train was due an announcement came over the platform speakers telling everyone that there was to be a platform change. With all the escalators bringing people down onto the platform it meant that the only way to change platform was to use the steps. “Whoopee” I hear you say, “big deal”.

Well when tethered to the ground by two walking sticks and having a top speed of a startled tortoise it was going to be a major challenge. Fortunately, being Britain, the train was a couple of minutes late and I managed to change platforms with just enough time to board the train.

Having arrived early for the meeting, I decided to write a poem about a station platform I remember from a dim and distant past. I hope you enjoy it;


The biting cold wind blows the rain in,
not the hard downpour that people sit out
but the incessant drizzle that seeps in.
The tiny irritating droplets that seep through
the most resilient waterproof.
The type of rain that sets in for the day.

Travellers huddle on the platform,
using a closed café as a wind break.
Thick coats, warm gloves, hats, scarves.
are not enough to cheer their grim faces.
With chins tucked low into raised collars
they hide like primeval man in the lee of a stone.

A voice crackles; “The Train approaching….
Heads lift and turn to the right in unison,
Slowly a train rumbles into the station.
Reluctantly passengers move to toe the line
the train stops, doors open to the awkward dance
as passengers tussle to get in or out of the rain.

John Carré Buchanan
8th December 2011


  1. Yup... that's drizzle for you. Have def been on that station that you have just written about!

  2. Bryan, Thanks for your comment (hope you didn't get as wet as I did)

  3. I always find train stations somewhat haunting...that came across to me in this piece...

  4. Robert, I know what you mean, particularly outside of the rush hour or at night. I'm glad you found that in the poem.

  5. John, the change of platforms must have been very frustrating for you. I just read your comment on my blog, and my heart goes out to you. You are such a gifted writer, and it is sad to me that you cannot enjoy it. I think it must be because you long for the activites that you can no longer do. I hope that one day you can see the gifts that you have make you worthwhile and irreplaceable.

  6. Angela, Many thanks for your support, you are always so kind. I too hope I find worth in my gifts, until then I just have to keep pressing on.


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