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Posts Tagged ‘train’

 

based on a title by Jack Ridl

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But if you were, you’d hide in your chaps

on your dark stallion, concealed by the saguaro

beside the remote tracks. You’d scan the horizon

for the gray plume of smoke, listen for the whistle

in the distance, lean your ears toward the clackety

clack clack clack of the engine. And you’d wait. Till

you could see the whites of the engineer’s eyes

as he drove by. You’d kick your heels into your horse’s sides

and shoot your gun into the air to show you mean business.

You’d see the resolve set into the engineer’s jaw and you’d smile

beneath your black bandana. Yaw! You’d shout as you

keep pace with the train, your posse coming alongside.

You were made to shake things up. Just take a look

at that sun weighing down the west like

a big sack of gold just ready for the rustling,

and why not take it? The world is yours. And the

way you’re feeling, this good, this rich,

you already know you’ll give everything away.

 

 

 

 

This is the second time this week I am referencing Jack Ridl. If you are not yet aware of this amazing feller, here is his poetry blog:  https://ridl.wordpress.com/

 

and here is a link to his upcoming book: https://www.wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/saint-peter-and-goldfinch

 

 

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Always Arriving,

 

 

 

the train

just around

the long curve,

with its cars full

of velvet-lined songs

and sparkling tomorrows.

I stand at the edge of the rails

my good arm always already raised

and waving, afraid that when the train

finally arrives, the conductor will smile and

wave back as the train trundles merrily

along the track, afraid he’ll mistake

my gesture for a greeting, not

seeing I’m trying to wave

the engine down. I have

songs in my pockets. I

learn the joy of

spending them

on the curve.

 

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The patient says, “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” “Then don’t do that!”
—Henny Youngman

All night I wait for the train whistle,
the way it calls out to the world,
You are here. It doesn’t mock, exactly,

but we all know that the train whistles
because it is leaving, heading somewhere else,
not here. It can be so hard to be here.

To be here and nowhere else. To not put ourselves
on the imaginary train, wherever it is going. To sit
with the sound of traffic, with the string of red lights

that eventually turn green. And red again.
To be here with our longing, here with our
shame, our loss, our hair turning gray.

The click of the sprinkler lays a rhythmic line,
and all the night’s whirs and whines and hums
scrape against its ticking. What is it about the gap

of the missing whistle that stirs me, so?
Oh expectation. One more layer to slough.
It is like the Henny Youngman line, in which we touch

what is sore, again and again, just to be sure it still hurts.
And the train does not come, and the train does not come.
The night air, warm enough to wear nothing,

carries the scent of something nearby, familiar,
floral and sweet. Part of me longs to slip into memory
to find the scent, know it and name it this,

and part of me notices the one
who would travel back in time to know the present.
It climbs into the fragrance, meets the night as it is.

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Love is Like That Tanka

all night
the train hurls
itself forward
inside, I don’t even
hang on

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chicka chicka chicka tanka

and the train
trundles through
the darkness
leaving in its wake
the most amazing silence

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