A Poem Found Beneath a Tree

I like to think of it as
A king in a bed who
Never wakes up. A kiss
Good-night and then that is
All… slipping away in

The dead of night. A
King, once. Or

The lone splash of lines falling
Into cold mountain water that
Came from a frozen pond by
A mill that ground stone from

An old mine with loose, lean
Floor boards. So much

Time and memories of trains
On tracks that creep across
Mountain-sides that we cannot
Take anymore. Just the sound

Of birds in bushes and the
Soft rustling off of little pale
Forms that whisper of

Time in bottles that we float
Silently downstream.

The Night Train

I remember them on nights when I
Wandered alone through Prague,
Searching and waiting
For that long, lone night train to
Take me to far off
Rome. While

Waking at times from loud bumps
And breaks and screeches during the long,
Mysterious night. Where I am I

Do not know. Flying by tracks and
Plains and mountains that I oddly
Never see…

Towns stopped in in
Dreams. Quiet and jerks and
Hums of wheels spinning
By lakes, rivers, streams I
Will never see again. They
Pass me by in dreams, in my

Pale sleep. My distant thoughts on
Ridges lost to clouds that hide a
Moon that falls on countries I will
Not know of again… but I’ve
Been there? Until,

Waking up with a jolt you arrive
In Rome. To smells and noise and
Ancient sights that whisper through
Grates for you to
Come.

Snippets of Conversations

Snippets of Conversations, Overheard
On Fast-Moving Trains

“… I said to him once I said
That he should have gone
He should’ve gone over that
Pass that pass
To that place where
The trees are all
Broken, bent. Still…”

“Jim said to me that it was the
Best he’d ever tasted. The best.”

“So we first went down the river and
Found snakes that hang down
From trees, like
Great ropes that
We could swing on. I…”

“… bought a coconut and threw it
Against a tree. Then…”

“How is it that I wake up and hear
Screams in the night? But
No one else
Seems to hear? Jim?”

“… Sadness and pain and raving
Mad at sounds that creep up
From my bed blanket. I cannot
Hear it at all…”

“… So we went, so we
Go and got lost like
Pebbles floated
Down murky streams…”

“The bird, I cannot hear
The bird.”

“… Jim? Is that
You? Jim?…”

“Sadness.”

Two Stanzas for Joy, Wherever She May Be

I.

The light kept on and seen
From fast trains passing by
A silent bridge over a clear
Stream. Feet creaking the
Timbers above.

II.

Symphonic strings heard in half-
Dreams. A scent of lilacs by an
Ancient, chipped place. Solitude.
No person but trees and wind and
The smell of rain somewhere…