October 8, 2009

train out of sacramento

silhouette ridge
carving black
under a gray-fire sky
as ghostly steeples float by
and anchorless lights
belie the emptiness

a white man
with a black cell phone
talks in gospel lyrics,
and a boy hunches
over a cardboard tray,
his fork pumping food
with the zeal of hobos
and college students

his blue earplugs
deny the gospel
and exile the haunting wails
of the train's whistle

10 comments:

swapnap said...

Hi pjd,
Liked your "unlucky 26", been reading 1-2 at a time, so haven't covered all.

Here in this write i discover new words along with wonderful capture of life in motion.

Also, many thanks for allowing me to read here.

jjdebenedictis said...

Just beautiful. This is absolutely lovely, PJD.

bluesugarpoet said...

you make Sacramento sound even better than it is... :)

Belle said...

Such haunting imagery... loved the little details - the blue earplugs, a cardboard tray, ghostly steeples floating by...

What a talent!

JaneyV said...

I love it Pete. There's something lovely about a leisurely train journey (not the underground bunfights that you get in Metro areas). It's a wonderful time for people watching and dreaming. Your journey from Sacramento had an almost spiritual quality. It's a beautiful thin -living in the moment.

gautami tripathy said...

Good to read something other than Haiku from you.

blogless troll said...

I'm guessing "the emptiness" is Arco Arena?

pacatrue said...

I was curious how different the poem is with different length lines but the same words. Since there isn't a meter, I thought to rearrange. Let's see:

silhouette ridge carving black under a gray-fire sky
as ghostly steeples float by and anchorless lights
belie the emptiness

a white man with a black cell phone talks in gospel lyrics,
and a boy hunches over a cardboard tray,
his fork pumping food with the zeal of hobos
and college students

his blue earplugs deny the gospel and exile the haunting wails
of the train's whistle

Hmmm.... not sure what the effect is. My guess is that you would have written the poem differently with longer lines such as this.

Just playing....

Aniket said...

This has a ring similar to the ones you try out at your other blog. I love the way you use simple words and common images and rearrange them into a interesting story. And on top of that you tell it in poetic style!

I wish I could do that...

Chris Eldin said...

Haven't been here for a while...stopping over to say hi.
Evocative imagery!