A Poem for a Thursday #70

Poems on the Underground is a project that was started in 1986 by American writer Judith Chernaik.
It is designed to bring poetry to a wider audience. The poems are displayed in ad space on the trains and are changed a few times a year. The program has been very popular and has been duplicated in cities around the world. Today's poem is one I saw on an Underground train when I was in London last week. Ciaran Carson was an Irish poet and novelist. I had never heard of him before (a constant refrain on Thursdays) but I liked this and will be reading more of his poetry.

I fear the vast dimensions of eternity.
I fear the gap between the platform and the train.
I fear the onset of a murderous campaign.
I fear the palpitations caused by too much tea.

I fear the drawn pistol of a rapparee.
I fear the books will not survive the acid rain.
I fear the ruler and the blackboard and the cane.
I fear the Jabberwock, whatever it might be. 

I fear the bad decisions of a referee.
I fear the only recourse is to plead insane.
I fear the implications of a lawyer's fee.

I fear the gremlins that have colonized my brain.
I fear to read the small print of the guarantee.
And what else do I fear? Let me begin again. 

Ciaran Carson


  1. Excellent mix of fears, and I had to look up "rapparee."

    1. I had to look it up too. I do enjoy learning new words.