53 Bus, Big Beat (Texas Radio).

Their faces look down upon screens

as the 53 rattles to the touch

of two fingers of my right hand,

keeping tune with the song

rolling round my mind,

late night bus home, a few

stare my way and I allow the curl

of a semi smile to come to my aid,

lips spread wide and the fingers hit out

at the rhythm at hand,

it could be anything,

it might have been a local star

of beautiful seduction,

perhaps Thom Morecroft or dear sweet

Eleanor, the lyrical tongue

playing with my ears, or perhaps Jim

Morrison, calling with wide eyed wonder

of the Hyacinth, of Texas Radio and its big beat

right here in down town Bootle,

where the sound of the late night callers

of the bingo parade and gamblers

un-anonymous strike a pose of regret

of losing their winning streak, ten pound prize

which will see the horse’s backside

in the morning.

I tap out musical Morse,

with my right hand, whilst singing

to myself, 53 bus, could ride you

for another half hour, tapping, infuriating,

ring that bell as you get off,

add to the charm of the Bootle beat

and the crawling King snake

boots, so out of place

as I tap on the yellow metal drum kit

and the side bar flashing lights

of the police car not seeing red

and the driver, grizzled and regretful

that he cannot shoot the man

who has been sleeping with his wife

as his own back beat now dies slowly

in abandoned nights

banging prisoners

up in their cells.

Texas Radio and the bus beat,

Jim Morrison’s blues,

passed away in ’71, still

the bus goes nowhere near Paris

this time of night,

Texas on the Linacre Road

Is the final stop.


Ian D. Hall