Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    Loco Motive Past Relay

Rocks tumbling, rails streaming far ahead
    'round the bend, and over a trestle;
I'm walkin' the ties to Tennessee
    'just seven hundred eighty-two miles.
Rails rumblin', better jump off the tracks. Quick!
Feet stumblin' on those chunky rocks; but...
Got to walk the ties to Tennessee.

Spikes broken, rails gleaming, I'm leanin' forward
    'round another bend, past the high trestle;
Been walkin long miles to Tennessee.
    What I thought he said don't mean nothin' now.
Whistle blowin', better turn 'round and look.
Feet slowin' on these dang'rous rocks; I just
Gotta keep walkin' toward Tennessee.

Creosote smellin', rails stayin' apart;
    looks like they will meet a mile ahead,
But get there and they're still separated.
    Don't know what the hell I'm doin'.
Cold rails polished hot by turnin' wheels;
I can't turn around so I just keep goin'--
Gotta try to get to Tennessee.

Fox barkin', rails trailin' behind like anchors --
    no bends, and no trestles anymore,
Chasin' footsteps long gone to Tennessee.
    Don't know why I'm going. Naw, I don't.
Moon hidden, wind rising, can't hear worth a damn.
Rails been ridden a hundred times over
Since he said "I'm walkin' out, back to Tennessee."

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I thought a garden had been planted,
    that the bed of seedlings would grow strong.
I thought the path we traveled artless and by nature,
    that we could find our way blindfolded.
I knew the road was rocky,
    But I thought it could be paved, and lead somewhere.
When I felt that I was drowning,
    I thought I could be saved by just breathing air with you.

      Should you live your life supposing
      That things will always go your own way?
      Can’t you try to have some patience,
      To live the way you feel you must?

I thought that garden was well planted; but
    Then seedlings sprouted, and seemed dead.
Hah! I thought the path was marked; but then a storm came --
    A tree fell over and blocked the way.
I even thought the concrete paving of the rocky road was ready --
    I started driving -- then, without a sign, it ended. Dead.
I was sure I couldn’t drown, so I splashed in happy shallows,
    Then a hidden wave pulled me under to the deep.

      So should you live your life supposing
      Things always are disintegrating?
      Can’t you try to have some patience,
      While living in a way that you can trust?

That garden that I thought was dead or dying,
    came alive with just our laughter;
The path, with dragging limbs obstructing,
    seemed better hidden -- with its secrets;
That unsettling violent road just wanted us to map it;
And when I thought that I was drowning, and
    floundered in unaccustomed depths,
    You threw me a kiss that saved me, spoke kind words that pulled me out.

      From now on I'll not live my life supposing
      That things will always go along the way I plan;
      That’s why I bid Impatience to allow Adventure
      So I can live the way I know I must.
            (14 days later...)

That garden that died then came alive?
    Well it was killed at last by an early frost;
Smudge pots and glass frames and sunshine
    couldn't bring it back to life. Frost kills.
The path has been obliterated, its secrets
    turned out to be pitfalls and traps;
That violent road couldn't be mapped, it buckled, too weak;
At last I knew I was drowning when I couldn't draw a breath.
    This time there were no heartfelt words, no blown kisses.
    All I could hear was wailing from my own grey ghost.

      From now on I'll stop supposing, stop hoping.
      Things go the way they will, you can't interfere.
      Oh I can tell impatience to allow Adventure,
      But I will live like I used to from now on, and
      I'll cross another desert, then another, 'til the end.