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Innovation­game

Meeting people


Meeting people of the World
is what I’m doing;
that is why I am sitting here,
freezing in the cold
of London’s tall proud station,
Waterloo, the great
monument to Wellington,
the nation’s soldier.

He it was who fought for us
when we were oppressed
by Napoleon and the World
to so grave extent
that our virtuous morals true
of racial hatred,
religious intolerance
and all were foundering.

So great tall proud monument
that thrives in daytime
is by night the dwelling place
of those without homes,
of restless fools and nancies,
newspapers in piles
and argumentative porters
shying from their work.

An empty chill of silence
hangs o’er the platforms
choking all the noises crude
of machines and men
into insignificance,
that seems to conjure
vinegar-stained chip wrappings
trodden under foot.

Long benches, tall litter bins
and vending machines
selling all kinds of beverage,
or chocolate or soup
or cigarettes for the tramps,
who idly linger
in toilets or on benches
to keep themselves warm.

Two policemen placidly
patrol the station,
repelling by their nature,
as two like magnets,
all those loitering in doorways;
and their heads to stir,
those who sleep with tightened lids
their footsteps compel

Icy fingers leave me not
unmoved at morning,
for when I sit in warm trains
my body shivers
as ’though refrigeration
were my heart and blood,
to remind me that I’ve met
every living soul.