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In London town a stranded bus

looks awkward, sheepish, as if it’s woken up

in a Piccadilly Circus nightmare.


The driver frowns,

then, as if oblivious to fuss pins a note

to the cab door that it’s his bus


and if anyone wants him he can be found

in the cafeteria pretending an unconcern

he doesn’t feel and uploading hot-dogs


to his Instagram. Anywhere is better

than here stuck waiting for an engineer,

the Dales are lovely at this time of year.


A red sea of commuters parts around

the fallen icon, umbrellas abound, wielded

in grim determination to board.


Even a bus going nowhere is better than no bus.

Inside on one of the seats is found

a set of prayer beads

123456789123456789in a brown paper bag.



© Frances Spurrier

Picture 10556433, photograph by John Benton-Harris, 1960s, image copyright Mary Evans / John Benton-Harris Collection



Frances Spurrier’s work has been widely published and anthologised, most recently in The Poet’s Quest for God (Eyewear, 2016). Publication credits for reviews, interviews and poetry include New English Review, Wales Arts Review, The Interpreter’s House, Tears in the Fence, Staple, South and Write out Loud. Her first poetry collection, The Pilgrim’s Trail, won the Cinnamon Press Collection Award and was published by them in 2014. She is currently working on a second collection. Her interests lie in the area of the connections between language, spirit and the environment. Frances blogs at