Saturday 25 March 2017

Early morning train journey up north

Ian's route (then from Sheffield to Barnsley on a branch line)

Hotel room light you are sudden and harsh and uncompromising and you are no admirer of shadows.

New Street Station you are still a maze but you are a shinier maze than before.

Soundtrack to my early ride through the Midlands to home: download of Jazz Now on @BBCRadio3, soloing by the half-light fields.

As I leave New Street, I think about the late poet Roy Fisher's seminal line 'Birmingham's what I think with...'

North of Birmingham
The sky can't decide
What to wear.

A nest interrupts
A tall tree.

The sun awards the sky a gold medal.

The sun
Plays hide and seek
With the horizon.

Cravats of mist
Across a Tamworth field.

The sun dances on those wide lakes near Burton on Trent.

Huge ranks of different-coloured containers near Burton on Trent: geometric art.

The train passes trees
Urgent with white blossom:
Unstoppable calendars,
Diaries to be filled by Spring.

Each morning unique and unrepeatable.

As we leave Derby I'm enjoying more jazz: download of @BBCRadio3 Jazz Line Up from Edinburgh; jazz's endless fluid reinvention of itself!

Almost Chesterfield.

In Chesterfield the spire points to a corner of the sky.

Then on to the centre of the world.

Zooming home.

0736 to Barnsley you rattling ancient chariot to the sunlit uplands.

(Ian McMillan, presenter of Radio 3's The Verb, travelling Cross Country this morning, tweeting as he went. Taken together, they read a bit like a poem,

I like Cross Country trains - unlike Northern Rail ones. He's not wrong about Birmingham New Street. I can't stand that station).

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