Close by the summer spire of St.Barnabus

Flossie Sheridan waits for a trolleybus

statuesque with her mane of auburn hair

knowing all there is to know

from flowing crown to tippy toe

in her school blue and grey looking neat.


Here comes the red and gliding bus

with a hiss and a spark past Clissold Park,

the conductor bright buttoned

swings out to welcome her aboard.

She steps so nimbly on the platform

brushing him with her auburn hair.


He follows at once on the turn of the stair,

rolling her a ticket with a smile.

In the well of his descent

he checks the little bulging mirror

that shows the aquarium of the bus

and how coquettish is his hat.


She watches him from the rearmost seat,

fingers the buckle on her satchel

while the world flashes by in disarray,

an opulent silence tumbling down

like her mane of auburn hair.




Profile image


Tue 11th Dec 2018 20:27

Lovely to get your comment David. I know you're a fan of JB. His wanderings were a joy - I never saw the one you mention; I know there was a famous theatre in the Edgware Road where Max Miller appeared often.(I think it was the Metropolitan). I'm very glad you responded thanks. Hope you're doing ok.

Thanks so much everyone who liked the poem subsequently to my list above..


Profile image


Mon 10th Dec 2018 16:06

Thanks Jennifer. Glad this appealed! What a lucky chance to meet an original thinker and writer. I couldn't find that many rhyming lines as he would have used, but I wanted it to flow in my mind. I think he had an eye for the ladies!

All the best, Ray

Profile image

jennifer Malden

Sun 9th Dec 2018 17:09

Beautiful and a wonderful read. One can really see her on the bus!

Well done yet again. Love Betjeman's Christmas, and Diary of a Church Mouse. He used to come into a place where I worked a great many years ago, and was always very jolly and friendly.


Profile image


Fri 7th Dec 2018 22:59

HI Hannah. thanks for liking this one. Your comment is the icing on the cake. Hope all is well with you.


Profile image

Hannah Collins

Fri 7th Dec 2018 20:48

How wonderful, the imagery and read so beautifully.


Profile image


Thu 6th Dec 2018 18:00

Thanks all so much - I must be having a late life renaissance as my first poetry book was Betjeman's from the late fifties; I still read it and enjoy it. He infused his work with a love of life which can enthrall us. I tried to poach some of that by writing something palatable and nostalgic.

So, thank you Ciaran (welcome), Mark, Big Sal, Douglas, Taylor, Poemographic and Kate. I would like to add Brian that I
agree Sir John would have made more use of rhyming, as that was integral to his work.

Beno, that's too much praise in one go! I'm glad if you get Betjeman's works. Make sure you read his last poem, it's a cracker.

Jon, Suko, Anya, Kristal and Rich thanks for coming "on board!"


<Deleted User> (18474)

Thu 6th Dec 2018 07:53


This poem is completely lovely. I have read it over, and over, and over.
I just stopped writing this to read it again.
The description in it is so rich. It has a nostalgic, past times feel which makes it even lovelier.
As Kate G says, it really does capture innocent attraction in the most wonderful way.
Every line is gorgeous.
I am not normally one who suffers from envy, but I find myself envious of your talents.
When I read stuff this good it makes me wonder why I bother writing.
Maybe one day I will write something this good.
To engage people, and fill them with some awe and joy, as you have done for me with this poem, is a very great gift.
I'm going to print it off and put it in my folder full of my favourite poems.
I have heard the name John Betjeman but that's it. Today I'm going to Liverpool with the girls from work. I'm going to buy a book of his poems and read them over Christmas. If they are anything like this I'm going to love them.
Thanks for sharing this poem Ray.

<Deleted User> (19913)

Wed 5th Dec 2018 12:07

Ray - as an Auburn haired girl I thank you. A great poem that reeled me in and painted a beautiful picture of innocent attraction.

Profile image

Paul Sayer

Tue 4th Dec 2018 21:23

My kind of poet, you are.

Loved the pictures as you weaved a wonderful tapestry in my mind with every word like a golden thread.



Profile image

Taylor Crowshaw

Tue 4th Dec 2018 18:05

I enjoyed this Ray I felt connected..excellent.

Profile image

Douglas MacGowan

Tue 4th Dec 2018 17:17

Another great one from you.

Profile image

Brian Maryon

Tue 4th Dec 2018 15:51

Hi Ray - as Sir John Betjeman is my favourite poet I can't help but like this and the way you read it. Perhaps he would have have put one or two more rhymes in?

Big Sal

Tue 4th Dec 2018 15:47

Great choice of words here, Ray. Glad to have read it. Each successive piece reveals more than the last in terms of poetic diction and range of ability.?

Profile image

M.C. Newberry

Tue 4th Dec 2018 15:01

An engaging vignette of an everyday incident from the past, with its
characters and the setting springing to life before us in these words.
Hold very tight please! It's well worth the ride.

Profile image

Ciaran Cunningham

Tue 4th Dec 2018 14:51

Loved this, I could listen to you read all day ?

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message