This is an edited version of A VIEW FROM A CAB (BUSRUNNER) which removes much of the Bladerunner idea and focuses on and celebrates Cornwall. It is still however inspired by replicant Roy Batty’s final speech before his termination in the film.
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…”, he says, “attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost…in time…like tears…in rain.” Roy Batty, Nexus 6 replicant
It’s a bit like driving a bus in Cornwall… Gray Lightfoot, bus driver.
A VIEW FROM A CAB
Scorched attack ships off Marazion? I’m afraid that you’ve got me there mate;
But I’ve seen moonbeams glitter on dark solar panels near Butteriss Gate.
I’ve seen such red skies over Mounts Bay – whose crimson glory in the morning;
Would leave the most cautious of shepherds to not give a toss for the warning.
I’ve seen people point with delight at their first sight of St Ives’ golden tiles.
I’ve heard the intake of breath they make at the point they become Kernowphiles.
I’ve seen a castle-topped island soar like some kind of Swiftian notion.
Rising out from a circle of mist; set fair to fly over the ocean.
I’ve seen Sennen Cove’s resilience in the face of one hundred foot waves;
The safe haven of its hardy homes at those times when the sea misbehaves.
I’ve seen Mousehole’s granite in close up, glistening feldspar, mica and quartz;
While squeezing a bus just like toothpaste out into this prettiest of ports.
I’ve seen a view from Penryn bridge where a widening Carrick Roads ensures
A pleasure boat-bobbing sea – (ooh!) blue – with myriad sunlit Koh-i-Noors.
I’ve seen steam hauling trains over Hayle; such moments when nostalgia enchants.
Gazing breathless as steam kisses sky; I’m a railway child still in short pants.
I’ve seen myself pilot a Spitfire, with Penzance all laid out before me.
Buzzing down over Newlyn’s Chywoone Hill, having just returned from a foray.
I’ve seen (and winked) in Lamorna at the old home of a Hollywood star.
Where would the pirate industry be without Bob Newton’s scurrilous “Arrrr!”?
I’ve seen dead people placed…pedestalled. High fived Trevithick; waved at Davy.
Saluted the brave that served and died in the Air Force, Army and Navy.
I’ve seen courage each time in passing the lifeboat station’s flag at Penlee.
Those lost boys of the Solomon Browne who were braver than I’d ever be.
I’ve seen white horses charging the beach where Long Rock plays Cossack and Russian;
Witnessed their glory fade; watched as this white brigade rides to its destruction.
I’ve seen signs and stones to make you smile – where a fingerpost points to Ding Dong!
Trewellard’s name that doesn’t quite fit or St Ives where the ‘S’s are wrong.
I’ve seen polytunnels that shimmer and confound those assured of their sight.
Those sloping lakes seen from Trevenen are just quicksilver tricks of the light
I’ve seen daffodils hosting game shows; clouds of golden gorse lining my way;
Crocosmia orange in splendour and bluebell fields set for Flora Day.
I’ve seen the joy of being alive in a bay foal’s exhilaration;
In dolphins dancing in Gwavas Lake and in a starlings’ murmuration.
I’ve seen ghost owls haunting and hunting – stealth bomb studies in alabaster;
A serpentine mink prowl in the sun – a shadow in search of its caster.
I’ve seen igloos, penguins, polar bears and scenes from a Bethlehem stable
Fashioned from neon for Christmas time on the dark green of Praze-an-Beeble.
I’ve seen a twinkling black tiara set with jewels of luminous hue.
Our land that’s beloved and displayed on a cushion of the iciest blue.
I’ve seen engine houses all over, give the finger; a futile gesture.
As sunset alights upon Geevor and a tin drum beats to lost venture.
I’ve seen, riding out on the cliff tops, Ross Poldark searching out derring-do.
For a change, the people of Cornwall will gladly welcome the revenue.
I’ve seen, in a winter-rimed mirror, the care-worn face, beset by the wind:
The country’s most westerly driver writing rhyme on his own at Land’s End.
© gray lightfoot