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Jonathan Robert Muirhead


Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

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Jonathan Robert Muirhead

The cold and stillness
Of an April afternoon
Hides and cloaks a
Totemic presence in Edinburgh’s
Torpor at Rush Hour

Where no-one rushes and
Everyone dreams of being
Somewhere else but they
Sit instead in cars
Going nowhere or standing

Waiting for buses which
Sometimes do not come
The fear of what
You will find when
You arrive home takes

Hold and situations once
Jokingly imagined take an
Ice-cold grip on
The imagination, the humour
Drains from them

There, on the concourse
He sits watching a
Train which may not
Get here, a train
Which I just know

Is carrying all the
Lost souls of Scotland
The young, the restless
The drifters and the sticklers
All of Scotland’s righteous

Melancholic debris who strum
Along on guitars to
Tunes they’ve long since
Forgotten, singing lyrics which
Meant something once but

They’re not sure what
Now, as they fail
To communicate and fail
To commit to each other
And they’re all going back

To the places they live
(Not home, for home
Is where hearts are
And the hearts of
These people have long

Since been ripped out
By work and heartache
As they sit, day
In and day out,
In offices airless and

Unconditioned to the needs
Of the human heart
Where commerce is everything
Life is nothing and
People are commodities to

Be used and discarded
And hollowed out jut
Like these people have been
And the raging howl
Once screaming within their souls

Has now become
A quiet whisper
Of resignation
To the ways
Of the world

Jesus looks, from his
Vantage point, like he’s
Lived through most
Of it and I
Wonder how life here

Compares to what
He went through
First time around
Maybe I’m the only one
Who sees him, this man?

Who seems to have
Everything revolving
Around him and the
Cars and buses all
Blur into one, wheezing

And whizzing past us
Going nowhere, maybe this
Is a nowhere he’s
Been to before
He sits still and

Stills the world around him
Calmly staring onto
A world that seems
Only minutes away from
Full scale breakdown

And still he remains
And still he remains