Red Bus Cafe

Diesel fumes, motor cycle growl,
screech of brakes, over-revved engines,
generator chuntering in the background.

And penetrating it all
the smell of bacon cooking.

I could be a vegetarian
if bacon grew on trees.

The red bus cafe is in a layby about ten miles outside Leeds on the A64 between Leeds and York. It has been there for as long as I can remember and, according to Leeds natives, for much longer than that.
This poem was selected to be included in a project whereby poems were printed on boards and hung in the waiting rooms of Leeds hospitals – they were moved round every few weeks. I have no idea whether they are still there – perhaps I will take a walk down this week and have a look.
I was prompted to post it because it is to be included in an anthology of work by the Leeds writers’ Circle to be published later this year – in time for LIPPfest we hope.



22 Responses to “Red Bus Cafe”

  1. an email inbox becomes clogging mush, a slurry of copius munk….and then, a pin-prick of light sings out for attention…..David has published again!

  2. christine lanham Says:

    Great words David…..hope you are well.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Good to see you again Christine,

      I am well thank you. and you?

      My thoughts on your latest to follow

  3. The smell doesn’t sound appealing, but I loved the poem 🙂

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Ah Ina, the smell of bacon frying always appeals to me 🙂

      You don’t like bacon?


      • Not really 🙂 And esp. not in the morning!

      • belfastdavid Says:

        I don’t normally enjoy it early in the morning – I am more likely to have Weetabix and a banana.

        But on holiday everything changes. And the Red Bus Cafe is on the road to Whitby!! 🙂

  4. I like it – especially the line about the bacon – it’s funny.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Cathy,

      I like that line too, but I don’t thonk it is true really – it would take more than bacon growing on trees to make me become vegetarian. 🙂

  5. Hi David,

    This made me smile. I don’t have a great love for city smells and noise but I can certainly imagine the sense of warmth and relief as the waft of bacon cooking lit up the senses.
    It is a good smell! There’s always comfort to be found even in the most crowded and unfriendly looking spaces. 🙂

    Congratulations on your inclusion of this poem in the Leeds Writers’ Circle anthology. I would indeed be wonderful if were publlished in time for the LIPPfest. 🙂

    I hope you have a most lovely week ahead and if you walk down to the hospital I hope the poems are still there. It was a wonderful idea. 🙂


    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hi Tikarma,

      I think one of the attractive things about the red bus cafe is that it is positioned just as you move out of the environs of Leeds and into the countryside – on one side of it a main road, on the other some woods. 🙂

      I will walk down to the nearest hospital later on this week – I am curious now. 🙂

      We have a meeting of the editorial committee for the anthology this Saturday. So if we can resolve all the issues we should be in time.

      You have a wonderful week too


  6. Gosh I feel hungry now. Loved this poem, David – a real feast for the senses.

  7. christine Says:

    I remember this poem from before when I used to follow you on Myspace before we came together again. Its lovely now to be able to comment on it.

    I love the image this creates, I can almost smell the mixture of fumes and fry up!

    Of course I would have to have bacon shaped Quorn slices!!

    Lots of love and a hug


    • belfastdavid Says:


      I doubt if the Red Bus Cafe does Quorn Christine.
      But they do do a very good egg sandwich – runny egg of course 🙂

      Lots of love and a hug to you


  8. David,

    Reading this makes me smile, remembering how happy you were with it when you first wrote it. It’s good to know the cafe is still open.

    I like your action verb, chuntering. That’s a new one for me, but it sure does fit the noise you wanted to describe. I suspect you would require sausage trees too, and any other sort of tree needed to complete a Full English Breakfast! *grin* Your humorous poems are always to be enjoyed, and they usually carry deeper emotion than what is at first perceived. Isn’t it odd how the least annoying disturbance, like traffic noise, in time becomes an important part of treasured memories? It’s all the mix. 🙂

    Well done, and congratulations on being included in the anthology.

    Much love,

    • belfastdavid Says:

      🙂 Thank you Shirley,

      There were threats to close the cafe some time back but the power of public opinion prevailed and it survived. Local bureaucracy cannot determine what makes a treasured landmark – only people can do that 🙂

      Wonderful word – chunter. It is more often used in relation to people chuntering – but it just seemed to fit in this case 🙂

      We are still hopeful that the anthology will be ready for LIPPfest.

      You take care
      Much love

  9. Smiling Big!! Love your sense of humor!!

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