London Underground wants your lines.

TFL is working on its next round of lovely poetic posters to encourage us all to behave like evolved human beings. You know, the ones that politely suggest we please refrain from scoffing stinky kebabs on the tube, and to for gods sake turn those down wretched headphones…but in a slightly nicer, more charming way.

But this time they’ve opened them up for the public to write.

Of course, we are up to our ears in TV ads which have an amateur poem for a voiceover. But we think you can never have enough poetry in a poster.

So, to all creatives with a repressed Gordon Comstock inside of them – give it your best shot.

The winning poem will not only end up on posters right across the network, but the winning lines will feature in the cartoons too.

McBess_Create your own poster_v1_3e752729-142f-4365-bd76-e9868c55172c
Via Poet of Adland, Rishi Dastidar, whose own effort bears repeating here:

“On the escalator, don’t stop on the left

As those walking down will be bereft.

You won’t have to do anything grand:

Just move to the right if you’d like to stand.”


Fresh off the back of these hugely cynical could-be-christmas cards by Mister Bob Brian, I thought I’d do another really joyful post to end the year with!

My new favourite wordsmith is the poet Wendy Cope. One of her most beautiful pieces of work is this, in my opinion, which I first read on a tube card panel. If you don’t know her work already, I implore you to look it up!

She has also written two really rather wonderful poems about Christmas.

If you’re someone who loves Christmas, you might want to look away now.

If on the other hand, you’re someone who has a somewhat dysfunctional family unit, you might appreciate the dark sentiment behind this one.

I personally think it’s a heartbreaking work of staggering genius.

Either way, merry Christmas one and all!


A Christmas Song

Why is the baby crying

On this, his special day,

When we have brought him lovely gifts

And laid them on the hay?


He’s crying for the people

Who greet this day with dread

Because somebody dear to them

Is far away or dead,


For all the men and women

Whose love affairs went wrong,

Who try their best at merriment

When Christmas comes along


For separated parents

Whose turn it is to grieve

While children hang their stockings up

Elsewhere on Christmas Eve,


For everyone whose burden,

Carried throughout the year,

Is heavier at Christmastime,

The season of good cheer.


That’s why the baby’s crying

There in the cattle stall:

He’s crying for those people.

He’s crying for them all.


Like I said, it’s not the chirpiest!

Next up, there’s this UTTER GEM.

I’m not – but it made me laugh out loud. So true!


A Christmas Poem

At Christmas little children sing and merry bells jingle,
The cold winter air makes our hands and faces tingle
And happy families go to church and cheerily they mingle
And the whole business is unbelievably dreadful, if you’re single.

By Wendy Cope