Train-Riding Bristol Parkway by Paul Tristram

I only ever seem to be standing here,
upon this snowman-cold,
grey platform in the dark months.
No matter how many decades
I’ve been a-roving,
40 minute changes are just taking the piss.
But I help pass the time
by frightening 3 junkies
who are trying to ‘Spare Change’
and borrow a phone
by swallowing 3 pound coins
in front of their horrified faces,
then casting my Nokia, full force,
into smithereens upon the train tracks.
At last I’m in Carriage B
(This used to be the smoking one,
if memory serves me correct?)
In an hours time I’ll be drinking
something Welsh in Cardiff.
Trouble comes like buses sometimes,
I’m ‘Bolt-holing’ back to where people
are straightforward & make sense.
A pretty girl in her 20’s opposite
starts playing ‘Time’ by Marion
on her headphones
loud enough for me to hear.
I absolutely love that song…
but now is not the time for it.
I leave my seat and go drink a Strongbow
at the buffet bar, until the accents
turn more familiar, musical & boisterous.
Then argue playfully with a woman
who’s refusing to be the gentleman
by letting this wayward son of Wales
step home through the exit door first.

paul smoking - Copy

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at You can also read his poems and stories here!


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