Treasure Island

John Gaskin


Metro Gnomes


Tick tock...tick tock...rise and shine...it’s six o’clock
The workforce wakes
Pours cornflakes
Drown in coffee
Lunches
makes
Coats and hats
Automobiles
Bus stop
Station
engaging wheels
The cogs of the city
interlock
Whirling lines of commuters
from every block
Spinning
Out of the suburbs
Mile after mile
Threads of people
weave the corporate pile
Up the over passes
Down the underpasses
Bumper to bumper
Pumping masses
Sparks flying
as steel grinds steel
Teeth marked frustration
chews the steering wheel
Buses lurch
Trains delay
Squealing starts
the working day
City’s mainspring
turns its rotor
Piston people
power corporate motor
Change shift
Shift gears
Sentence hard labour
for fifty years
And
line the escalator
cram the elevator
Human beans
fill the perculator
Telephone rings
Paper shuffles
Computers on
Now hunt for truffles

Tick tock...tick tock...computers off...it’s five o’clock

Coats and hats
Work
now home
Change tune
not rhythm
Metro gnome
Cram the elevator
line the escalator
Empty spent beings
from the perculator
City’s mainspring
reversing power
Dragging
lines of drones
out of every tower
Change shift
Shift gears
Sentence hard labour
for fifty years
Bus stop
Station
Automobiles
Sparks flying
as steel grinds steel
Down the underpasses
Up the overpasses
Bumper to bumper
Slump in masses
The cogs of the city
intermesh
Rippling
waves of commuters
back to their crèche
Shop till you drop
Work force home
TV
Dinner
Drinks
Make love
Late night talk
Jump in the shower
Slavishly
set all alarms
for the
which is
hour

Tick tock...tick tock...tock...tock...tick

Submitted: Monday, September 16, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Standing outside the building where I lived in Earlscourt, London uk, mid 70's, I was struck by how the airplanes over head, the buses, the taxis, the underground trains rumbling under my feet, all moved in the same direction, heading into central London, early morning, moving like cogs and springs in a clock. Then at 5 o'clock, it all went into reverse. The idea came to me in 1975, I finally wrote the poem in 2006. It was because the city I moved to and now live in, has a downtown core and I noticed the same effect going on. Like a living clockwork city.

Comments about this poem (Metro Gnomes by John Gaskin )

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  • Noreen Carden (9/18/2013 7:05:00 PM)

    Hello John love this poem the way you put it on paper gives the feeling of the speed of the rat race we all run it great writing well done (Report) Reply

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