London Poetry: A Hornchurch Commuter By Luke Wright

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 72 months ago
London Poetry: A Hornchurch Commuter By Luke Wright

We like poet Luke Wright. He's one of the irreverent crew who perform at Homework; very witty and not afraid of a bit of politics (check out this poem he wrote for us during the Mayoral election). His debut collection, Mondeo Man, is about the people who commingle at London's edges, but this poem will be recognisable to anyone who's ever clacked down the line to work.

If you want to go to the launch party for Mondeo Man (on 9 February at 47/49 Tanner Street, 8pm start), get in touch with

A Hornchurch Commuter from Mondeo Man by Luke Wright

It’s Winter and I leave my home in darkness
to schlep down Suttons Gardens, Stations Lane,
then past the rows of houses lost to commerce:
the florist, cabbies, bookies, café, train.

They call this game the rat race but it’s not —
these sad and silty mornings pocked with sighs;
there’s nothing fast about this way of life —
just deep ruts cut slow into the mind’s eye.

I spend my Mondays living for the weekend —
who doesn’t here, eh, that’s the way it works;
that’s why we brought our families to the suburbs
to live on London’s green and pleasant skirt.

Inside this fizzing fence of motorway,
our tiny crumbs of Essex neatly mortgaged,
a low-rent Metroland for boys done good;
a place to deckchair doze in heavy August.

And for that right we clatter down these traintracks
through greyish sprawl from Dagenham to Bow
where London’s mouth lies waiting. Grin and bear it:
inhale, exhale then underground you go.

Mondeo Man is available from Penned in the Margins, £9.99.

Last Updated 15 January 2013