Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Sunday Post





SLEEPING COMPARTMENTS.

I don't like this, being carried sideways
through the night. I feel wrong and helpless – like
a timber broadside in a fast stream.

Such a way of moving may suit
that odd snake the Sidewinder
in Arizona: but not to me in Perthshire.

I feel at right angles to everything,
a crossgrain in existence. – It scrapes
the top of my head and my foot soles.

To forget outside is no help either –
then I become a blockage
in the long gut of the train.

I try to think I'm an Alice in Wonderland
mountaineer bivouacked
on a ledge 5 feet high.

It's no good. I go sidelong.
I rock sideways... I draw in my feet
to let Aviemore pass.

Norman MacCaig.
May 1966.

7 comments:

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Alistair! This is a doozy, especially the final line. I've been somewhat absent these past few weeks, but now I am back. Shiny new blog design, too! Indigo

Alistair said...

Indigo - Isn't it! Glad to have you back. I like the new look - like you've given it a haircut and a new suit!

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

Hmmm. I've always liked traveling in a sleeper car, as long as I didn't get a smelly oik in the other bunk. BR used to give you a cup of horlicks at night, and a cup of tea in the morning. it always felt really weird having a cupof tea, lying in bed in the middle of Euston Station.

Alistair said...

It's something I've never tried is a sleeper train.I'd quite like to though.......

dbs said...

I can only imagine.

Antares Cryptos said...

Don't mind going sideways.
Going backward while moving forward is a different story.

I like trains. Thought you should know.

Alistair said...

dbs - slept on a few trains of course {in the seat} and woke up with that awful crick in the neck and getting the look from other passengers that says you've either been drooling or snoring. Ugh!

AC I share the backwards thing too.

And stuff like that I need to know........

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