on the underground to Heathrow

First Light & No One In Sight

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www.flickr.com/photos/paulshears/

Monday, August 30, 1993
6:01 AM

First light
ashen grey —
travel alarms stoke the coals
and the first sparks emerge,
buy tickets and descend spiral stairs
to the electric pipe with its capsules,
and are swallowed through the London earth.

We are leaving London.

Soon we emerge from under.
We see the streets darkly,
and the yellow electric torches
in the neighborhoods,
as they rush past us
on their way
to where they are.

We sit still,
staying in order to arrive elsewhere,
far elsewhere
through the air elsewhere.

We sit, and few talk
as the tracks pound an echoed rhythm
down the tube cars:
“we move, you move,
we move, you move,”
says the rhythm-track.

Dimness fades into suburbs
in South Ealing
and the pealing
of imaginary bells
tells us it is morning.
And in the morning we will fly,
fly elsewhere,
to land,
still on Time’s underground
and we will stay on it
until we arrive at the tube stop of Eternity.

People will ride with us for a while,
then alight and make connections
with another tube —
yet all will arrive
at the same stop.
Only we must take our own routes
to arrive.

Our ride is ever-new,
forging our way toward eternity —
the momentless moment
and the light there will be a light
no ordinary dawn or day
can approximate.

We arrive in Heathrow in twelve minutes.

In anticipation,
we approximate our moments
as we travel toward eternity.

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