The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

John Catling: 1 Poem Published

Poem by John Catling (UK)

Published in Issue 31 (August 2013).





Nodding heads,

Eyelids drooping,

Early starters

Wending wearily to work,

   Or the shops…

      Or market…

   Or who knows where…?


Barely visible slumbering babies…


…closely cosseted to mothers

while suckling from the breast.


Infant children still half asleep

on their way to school;

Books and other personal treasures

in bags on their backs;

Tiny lunch boxes clutched in hand.


Ladies, amazingly skillful,

applying mascara and

        curling their eyelashes…  

   …over the edge of a dessert spoon

borrowed from the kitchen drawer!


… such a delicate task while

being jostled and jerked

in the seats of these bone-shaking

people carriers…


…and amazingly accomplished smudge free!


Lovely olive skins

made translucent with powder…


        from the mirrored compact… 

   And new black ainted eyebrows

Replace those plucked away…


…one wonders why!


As the Crucifix swings… 

        From the rear-view mirror,

        Ceaselessly swaying… 


        …as in a dance


And hypnotized

by the raucous never-ending pop

blaring from the speakers

hanging so precariously from the roof.


El Caminero at last!


My destination awaits! 

A difficult struggle ensues…

Several essential “con permiso´s” 

But I reach the exit and successfully jump off

only seconds before the vehicle lurches

into the next leg of its journey to Estadio Azteca.


A chore?  A ritual?


For some of course!  But not for me…

… it´s an exciting adventure…


Repeated and enjoyed

again and again

in this vibrant city which is DF!



About the Poet

 John is a retired Auctioneer and Estate Agent hailing from the Cotswolds in England. He moved to Mexico DF two years ago with his partner Mark to undertake a new adventure in what he has found to be a truly rich and exciting country. Part of his adventures has involved developing the skill of using the various public transport systems of Mexico City, and particularly the peseros which in themselves produced a mini adventure on each journey. Never having written poetry or prose before, but being an avid watcher of people, he was moved to write a piece on his experiences and observations, entitled Pesero Personas... a project inspired by a visit to one of the monthly Poetry evenings organised by Jack Little of the Ofi Press.


Although now returning to England, he not only hopes to continue with writing but also that he will have an opportunity to return to Latin America and particularly Mexico City in the future.

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