Train of Thought

1999 Prince

Prince was another of the great talents that we lost too early. He was a trail blazer and his songs all had that unique imprint of genius.

The millennium was a new start for me, my marriage had come to an end and although I didn’t know it in a few short years I was to leave my job in IT and become a student for the first time and with my Master’s degree in Poetry I was to begin a new career as a jobbing writer and a peripatetic poetry tutor. 

Prince’s song took me back to train journey when I was in my early twenties. We had been partying in the coastal town of Tynemouth celebrating the end of the sixties and beginning of a new decade. That night as I got the train home in the wee small hours of the morning, I had no idea that before me was a nearly thirty year relationship and the birth of my daughters.

South_Tyneside_Electric_train_at_Newcastle_Central,_1938,_geograph-4869768-by-Walter-Dendy,-deceased
The old coast train before the modern metro system

There are moments in our lives when we are blissfully unaware that we stand on a threshold of something new and exciting. 

However, even in those days I wrote poetry but I never shared it with anyone, it was a secret I kept to myself. Geordie boys don’t write poetry especially those who can not spell the words they create. In those far off days dyslexia was a word that had not been invented and instead my teachers told me I was stupid and lazy and if I put the effort in then I wouldn’t have a problem. 

It would be many years later when I got a PC and learn’t how to use a software package called WordPerfect with its spell checker that I would finally get the confidence to put those words down on paper and it would be years after that before I had the courage to stand up for the first time on a Sunday night in a smokey bar in Newcastle and speak my words out loud.

Train of thought

 

Wet behind the ears and full of bullshit and speed

In a sweaty basement we bid farewell to the sixties

My mind was on breasts, mini skirts and flirting

Of kissing girls with dark blue eyes and chalk white skin

Always wondering if they would let me in

On an early morning train as the decade turned

We took the party back with us to the clink of beer bottles

The rattle of the rail lines and laughter of the revellers

We sang and danced through the sleepy suburbs

With promises and kisses as we stopped at each station

My school days left behind me leaving only weeping wounds

From words that were spat back at me by disappointed teachers

My poetry always better in my head than on unforgiving paper  

That night I never thought that Geordie boys could dream

Of poetry books and spoken words on international stages

Declaiming In cafes, boozy bars, theatres and urban classrooms

I locked my muddled stories and poems away from the world

It would take me thirty years to find the key

© Jeff Price October 2017