Sunday, 3 February 2019

1977. Bus number 8

 As the nineteen sixties smoked itself into oblivion, and the last petal fell off the flower power daze, new times of exciting self expression was evolving. Being a teenager in the 1970's were certainly fun times, especially with the changes in fashion, and musical genres. The following poem was inspired by my memories of those final bus rides home from school.

Number 8 Bus

Man with a stick climbed on board
the bloke in a cap committed fraud
girl with Mohican spikey red hair
smug flat cap he dodged the fare;

the dole delinquent single mum
mohican red hair chews on gum
the dirty old stick admired her tits
noisy school kids the little gits:

on number eights smoky top deck
teenagers smoke and swear like feck
a lamenting moan of a grubby drunk
back seats reserved for safety pin punks;

the drivers driving smoking his fags
the punks are punking anarchic gags
a spot ridden face full of hate
home from school, on bus number 8.

© Julian Clarke 2019

Linked to Poets United Sunday Pantry.


  1. So vivid- that description of the passengers on bus #8!!

  2. How good to visualize the scene on the bus. I wasn't into poetry when I caught the bus to work but a short story or two did emerge from that period.

  3. Really great that memories remain fresh even after years...
    My WOW Gadgets - Anita

  4. That's certainly a more colorful ride home from school than I had. Everyone wore the same Catholic school uniform on my bus and there were some strict rules about the ways we could embellish them or our hair. Though we were noisy, and some did house their fair share of hate.

  5. What a cast of characters you have described. Imagining even the bus driver smoking! Smiles. Those were wild times, and you described them well!

  6. Love this! So visual, so colorful and such fun to read. Mind you, I'm glad I wasn't on that bus: goodness knows how you'd have described me. :-)

    1. Hi Richard, may be I have included you in this, ha ha, or maybe not. Thanks for you comments and pleased you enjoyed it.

  7. I can see them all! Wonderfully described! Nice to see you, Julian.

  8. Ha - I didn't ride a school bus if you were in city limits you walked. It sounds like there were some interesting characters on yours. The rhyming flow was fun to read.

  9. The ride on this bus made me think of my own bus rides but during the 60's in New York. This was fun to read.

  10. The 70's seem so long ago, riding home from school, on bus number 8.

  11. I was in high school back then, but I never remember passenger like this on my tram-ride home from school... What I do remember is the occasional talkative wino

  12. That caught the energy of the ride, everyone bringing their restlessness on board.

  13. I walked a few miles to school, or rode on the handlebars of my big brother's bicycle. I preferred the walk--it allowed me time for picking (and eating) wild fruit and for daydreaming.

  14. Your poem took me back, Juiian! I used to get the 118, 115 or 88.

  15. What a ride and great imagery about it. Nicely done.

  16. I hated the school bus and as soon as I could drive I bought my first car and drove. This reminds me of why I hated it so much.

  17. The 1970's were quite a ride. You've set the subject matter to the perfect cadence.

  18. I remember those crowded school buses. I don't know how the bus drivers coped.


Comments are very much appreciated and I shall endeavour to reply, however, this may not always be possible due to time restraints.