and the room fills with the sounds of the Department.
If you listen at any moment in the day
you will hear laughter
somewhere in the building.
The squeak of the Admission Tutor's shoes
as he leads another guided tour
and their anxious parents.
The rattle of the ventilation unit
starting up on the ground floor Cold Store.
The trumpet player in a nearby Hall of Residence
who practises endless scales and arpeggios.
The students who chatter
as they leave the seminar room
"Human Geographers are SO intellectual."
and then, mysteriously,
"My girlfriend is KILLING me."
The telephone in the office next door
which has a special ring tone
when the Professor's wife calls.
The Academic who has just turned 40
who marches purposefully down the corridor
and says "I don't want to disturb you but...
I have another cunning plan..."
The clatter of a skateboarder in the car park
where I hope that the new Little Car is safe.
The folding bike with tiny wheels
being wheeled down the corridor.
The faraway music of an ice-cream van
in the streets at the bottom of the hill.
The swirling sounds of rooks roosting
in the tall trees outside the building.
The succession of people leaving for home
who cheerily call out as they pass
"Bye, Alice, have a good evening.
See you tomorrow."