White buds grow out of soft pink shells that cling to the skulls
that sit on suits, poke out of school girls, adorn pearls
and face straight ahead, with tired eyes and ears closed. London:
Under the ground a baby shoot, deprived of light, will grow
milky in the dark, but will reach for sun, rise to find life,
before, with no energy left, exhausted, it dies. Listen
to the sound of the train as it rattles, the wind that blows
that lady’s hair straight in front of her face makes a tunnel of gold,
and she sees me looking through it at her: smiles. Look out
for signs of life there, where dying shoots hang from ear-shells
and no one sees or hears or smells or tells when you hang
head down and are in hell, underground, surrounded by man.
Even there you can raise your head and reach for someone
alive riding with you. A shimmering tunnel and a smiling one
will do, for soon I’ll rise up again and be blinded by the sun.
This poem was Shortlisted for the Poems Please Me Prize 2015. Sean also entered a poem which was Commended. See The tomato the time and the tube