[ai] line [əʊ] sofa [ei] train [ʌ/ ʊ] us [æ] and [ɪ] in [e/eə:] bed/ death
[ɔː/ ɔɪ] morn [ɑː] yard [i:] each [uː/u] room [ɜː] earth [au] now
on the sofa
Behind each other, eldest down to youngest,
Elbows going like pistons, for this was a train
and the bedroom
Our speed and distance were inestimable.
First we shunted, then we whistled, then
Somebody collected the invisible
As carriage after carriage under us
Went giddy and the unreachable ones
Far out on the kitchen floor began to wave.
Ghost train? Death gondola? The carved, curved ends,
Black leatherette and ornate gauntness of it
Made it seem the sofa had achieved
Flotation. Its castors on tip-toe,
Of superannuated pageantry:
When it stood off in its own remoteness,
When the insufficient toys appeared on it
Potentially heavenbound, earthbound for sure,
Among things that might add up or let you down.
We entered history and ignorance
Under the wireless shelf. Yippee-i-ay
Sang ‘The Riders of the Range’. HERE IS THE NEWS,
Said the absolute speaker. Between him and us
Reigned tyrannically. The aerial wire
Swept from a treetop down in through a hole
The sway of language and its furtherings
Swept and swayed in us like nets in water
As we entered history and ignorance.
Fit for the uncomfortableness.
Constancy was its own reward already.
on the big
Somebody craned to the side, driver or
Fireman, wiping his dry brow with the air
Of one who had run the gauntlet. We were
A tunnel coming up where we'd pour through
Our only job to sit, eyes straight ahead,
And be transported and make engine noise.