Monthly Archives: September 2015

Trolleybuses (A Memoir)

This was a short memoir I wrote three years ago after visiting the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft, near the Humber.

The trolleybus is cosy and, just like the conductor, welcoming.  It starts off with a chime of its bell, whirring, bumping and clattering along.  Passing scenes blend together, regressing from a sharp, clear masterpiece to a smudge on the painter’s palette.  Ruts in the road cause little jumps, yet it is far quieter than the growling beast that is a diesel bus.  The frog (or pantograph) clicks as the trolleybus corners and hits junctions in the wires.

One can’t help but think that this is a fine alternative to the customary bus.  True, it cannot break free from its wires, but its quietness and smoothness are definite advantages.  Anyway, most buses have a set route.  It’s no chore to have wires over them in city centres.

Hop on, hop off, watch the world go by, watch the people around you.  The trolleybus is life and you have the time to enjoy it.  The quiet helps you to enjoy it as well.  Why bother to sit and read when the world comes to you here?  On the lower deck, you’re among friends you haven’t met.  On the top deck, you’re king of the world.  It’s your pleasure and no-one can take it away.

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What Would I Be? (A Poem)

What would I be, if not a man?

Oh, if I could be a whale;

Greatest of all Earth’s beings,

Master of the mighty deeps,

Unassailable, yet ever gentle,

Wandering minstrel whose song sounds round the World.

Of what if I should be a stork;

Soaring through the air upon broad, strong wings,

Lord of the sky, creature of fable,

Voyaging between lush woodland and stifling plain,

Observer of all the little World beneath.

Or would it not be fine to be a horse;

Swift, graceful, boisterous, care-free,

With such beauty as might make the heart burst with bliss,

Not bearer, but compassionate friend,

Healer of the darkest hurts of the soul.

What would I be, if not a man?

And what would you?