I was asked to write a poem for the programme commemorating the annual Penzance Running Day for the Cornwall Bus Preservation Society on 18th April. Obviously due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic crisis, the event will not now be taking place. Still, shame for the poem to go to waste.

This poem highlights the problems bus drivers have with people at bus stops not being clear whether they want a particular bus or not, leading to the bus coming into the stop lay-by and then finding it difficult to get out into the traffic again…one of the reasons we soon find ourselves running late. So passengers who don’t give clear signals…consider yourself told off!


We all hate the bus not arriving on time
But no-one seems to mind they’re making us late;
Calling us into a lay-by, then watching
As we wait for the traffic queue to abate.

Because nobody wants the back of a bus
To be all they can see from inside their car;
Slowing them down and choking with fumes ‘til they’re
Blue in the face like in that film Avatar.

I mean, just how hard is it to shake your head
Or to wave your hand in a side-to-side way?
Much better than flapping your arms up and down
When I pass by and spoil your plans for the day.

I’ll be delighted if you choose to shun me;
By all means turn your back as I get nearer.
I’ll simply raise my hand in celebration
In much the same way as did Alan Shearer.

As for those of you glued to your mobile phone,
Wrapped up in your Facebook, Insta and Twitter.
I pull in at the stop…you just look away
And you wonder why it is I feel bitter?

Then there’s those who should have gone to Specsavers,
The ones who can’t see the bus destination;
Still wearing glasses prescribed in the Nineties,
Call me in and make me late for the station.

But worst of the lot are those who flag you down
Then proceed to ask about some other bus.
“How would I know? I’ve been driving this one round!”
Yes, you might have thought it would be obvious.

Or one time I was stopped by a chap who asked…
“If there was a B & Q in Penzance?”
“Let’s see…P…E…N…Z…A…N…C…E…no!”
I shut the doors – gone, without a backward glance.

So as soon as you’re sure that I’m not for you
Then, please, just shake your head or wave us on through
Because it’s not rocket science, after all,
It’s not even Bus Driving NVQ 2.

Of course, I can’t always blame the passengers.
I often stop for that little old lady
Dressed in her bright red coat, hat and black trousers
…only to find she’s a Royal Mail post box…

© gray lightfoot