Platform guy (poem)

Research Cooperative
17/05/23 03:38:06PM

Many scientists worry too much about their "impact" and audience.

This poem is about someone I often saw while commuting to my research job... he seemed happy in himself and worked hard in his own way.

He had audiences, but impact was not his primary concern.


Platform guy

Took his place most nights

Rocking with the air guitar

strangled sounds in throat

fragments of a noble voice


Revealed, an interior hero

playing to a rough crowd

all stones, a million or more

along the track, giving back

everything he gave and gave


Pure bliss on radiant face

he steps forward, steps back

points instrument skyward,

then down, shreds the dark

his handsome body electric


Commuters stand mutely by

thoughts and feelings hidden

dragging our baggage along

while platform guy gives and gives

a passion free to the world


Haven’t seen him this year

I miss his jumping spark

Perhaps his amp exploded

Is he rocking with the stars?


P. J. Matthews, Minami Ibaraki Station

Hankyu Line, 12 th May 2023