On the train

I turn the ticket man at the station into a sheik.
Surrounded by his wives and eunuchs, he strolls
in his gardens.

Around the spouting fountains, dolphins in the waves, lemon, orange and passion fruit enamour the air with sweet scents.

The sheik in his babouche sits on a stone bench, launches his hand full of seeds to the white doves. They clatter from the rooftops down the tropical

creeper onto the dolphins and across the lawns. The train’s squeaking and sway gently rocks my contemplation.

The slow wheels roll on the rails at a snail pace. So my sheik keeps me company on my way across the map.


Written in November 2014, from London to Stratford.