Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Wednesday, 15 April 2015



Bus lies in the terminus
and sniffs the ground
where the oil stains are:
Bus is a nomad.

Bus hates to stop moving
and sometimes ignores you;
Life passing you by:
Bus is a watcher.

Addicted to diesel
like Man is to sex,
Bus always returns:
Bus is a prisoner.

30 July 1978

When I posted poem #511, ‘Driver’, which I wrote in April 1979, I pointed out the connection to ‘The Jaguar’ by Ted Hughes. When I looked at ‘Bus’, written nearly a year earlier, I can see the same influence. Exactly. I wonder if this is my version of the nature poem. What I do remember is showing this poem to my best friend which surprises me because I was pretty sure by this time the only person who got to read new poems was my wife. I don’t remember showing him any other poems but I can’t see this as an isolated incident. Anyway the reason I remember is because I had ‘petrol’ in the original and, as he enjoyed pointing out to me, buses run on diesel.

I always imagined Bus as a single decker Leyland Leopard in Central SMT’s red livery which is odd because although the Leopard dominated the SMT fleet in the late seventies East Kilbride was the only depot that ran double deckers.

I’m fond of buses. I have a few models and when my eye lands on them they always bring me pleasure.

I have no record of ‘Bus’ ever being published before.



Kass said...

I like the personification of 'Bus,' especially as it sniffs the ground. Someone needs to.

Jim Murdoch said...

I always saw Bus as a grump, Kass. Something like one of the characters from Thomas the Tank Engine, Percy. This was, of course, long before Pixar’s Cars and Planes.

Kass said...

I wasn't aware of Percy. He's kind of like Thomas. Pixar should do a grumpy bus. I'd watch it.

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