Writers use writing prompts to kickstart their creativity. Taking a word or phrase, an object, or something observed and just writing whatever comes to mind, uncritically.
I find one of the most effective ways is just to get out and about with my eyes open and look for random things. There are so many prompts out there that can lead to a story.
Today my train journey took me through Oxford Circus. Transferring to the Bakerloo line I noticed a box marked ‘staff letters’ at the end of the platform (see photo above).
And that set my writer’s mind going.
Which staff members would be posting letters? To whom would they write them? What would they write that would mean they couldn’t wait to get above ground to post them? Why couldn’t they be emails? And so on.
I imagined two star-crossed lovers, doomed to drive trains on different lines, crossing paths only at this station and leaving letters.
I never really write poems (as you’re about to see!), but this situation just seemed to lead to one. I opened my laptop on the next train, and hammered one out in about 20 minutes.
For poetic license I moved the letterbox to Piccadilly Circus station.
Their love emerged so shyly
in the darkness underground
meeting at tea break slyly
whenever time was found
While a yearning love grew
Nights seemed to pass so slowly
As he drove the Bakerloo
And she, the Piccadilly
Passion was slowly kindled
They could meet but once a night
Where the tracks did mingle
Deep beneath the Circus lights
Their love was grown by words devoted
that from each soul were drawn
and written down, sealed and posted
at the end of the station platform