Published on May 15, 2014 | by Karina Starobina

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Don’t miss Da Bus

On a rainy Thursday afternoon I head to an abandoned bus stop in Hackney to attend a peaceful poetry ‘bus takeover’ – going by the genius name BUS DA RHYMES – where a group of poets get on a regular 242 bus line to read their poetry to each other and the other passengers.

Bus

A group of poets gets on a regular 242 bus line to read their poetry to the other passengers

Dion Powers, who goes by the pseudonym of “The Freewheelin’ Troubadour” is the guy, who came up with the whole idea – a 29-year old poet with sparkling eyes and a cool beard.  He is carrying a big bag full of umbrellas for those poets who decide to join the event on 242 bus despite the continuous pouring rain.

“So we’ll just gather here, do a big circle and then we’ll move to the bus, head upstairs and perform. Today I’m expecting rain. There will be rain in a form of words and then in a form of water in the sky.”

One by one poets of different ages, backgrounds, and each of them with their own individual story gather around the bus stop. Gemma Rogers – a girl in a vintage Macintosh – appears with a banjolele and starts to play “Buddy Holly” to lighten up the rainy mood.

“Reading poetry in public without people paying is the best,” Dion continues.  “You know, everyone is skint right now, not everyone has five pounds to get in, read their own poem for three minutes and on our 242 bus people can come and perform and see other people perform”.

Gemma makes a joke about reading poetry in a frozen section in Tesco’s. “How long till the security guy kicks us out, huh?”

At 8PM we get on a 242 bus and head straight upstairs. Dion gets up – he is the first to perform. The other unsuspecting passengers on the bus get really excited about this unexpected turn of events. Imagine going home after a long day at work and then hearing people perform poetry just because they love it and they want to share it with the world. Wouldn’t that make you smile? In our case it worked and in the end, even the grumpiest of passengers were smiling.

“You can’t stop us. We have voices and if we want to say something, it will be heard”.

The whole event ends with an inspiring walk around the bus’ final stop – Tottenham Court Road. Walking home afterwards I had the definite feeling that something amazing had happened today on this typical rainy London Thursday.

Find out about the next Bus Da Rhymes event at facebook.com/busdarhymes

 

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