June 8, 2010

Terrible Train

I rode the Terrible Train
down a broad path that passed
between two great black mountains
shiny-slick, oozing like oil, sick and diseased
heaving overhead as I rode on down

I rode the Terrible Train
past great glistening vistas
new cities and old tobacco towns
mesa men brownly smiling
and disinterested tourists looking away

I rode the Terrible Train
through pink glass buildings
and smoky corridors
soft light mutely penetrating
my reflection flickers

I rode the Terrible Train
past the Plains of Man
a thousand forgotten dreams
lying in their dusty beds
too tired to rise

I rode the Terrible Train
to the Plains of The Prophets
through Messiah Mountains
past columns of fire and the screaming trees
that grow along the river that flows upstream

I rode the Terrible Train
over wind-swept fields
and nightmare visions
crumpled, crinkled, once-white paper
dancing in black back alley breezes

I rode the Terrible Train
by the city of new divorces
separated from the feelings
too empty to fill a heart
left behind like old dirty dishes

I rode the Terrible Train
through the Rains of Anxiety
heart beating murmurs
wide-eyed, seeing nothing
even the nothings that were not there

I rode the Terrible Train
speeding past the joys of old
a fleeting glimpse of Time’s treasures
buried by the relentless stream
of hour-glass sand

I rode the Terrible Train
near the Site of Promise
Yesterday’s Heyday now quiet
a hum under a basement floor
nobody stands still long enough to hear

I rode the Terrible Train
over rancoured truths
and well-worn lies
a lifetime’s accumulation
swept away as it sped by

I rode the Terrible Train
seeing junkyard displays
and bright facades of glee
narrowly covering
disparaged buildings

I rode the Terrible Train
by Northern wooded retreats
and Southern soirees
and Western rodeo roustabouts
and Eastern seashore shacks

I rode the Terrible Train
and saw crying orphans
war widows, misplaced soldiers
train stations overflowing
with sad seas of humanity

I rode the Terrible Train
by sparkling pentangle peaks
arcs of impossible angles
scraping black needles against the sky
piercing lowly ones who drift by

I rode the Terrible Train
fast animals keeping pace outside
seeking blood and warm flesh
trading it all for just one more ride


  1. whew...some ride...not sure where or when i would want to get off that one...esp with the animals trying to get on...nice write...happy oneshot!

  2. that was some put so much into it..some amazing verses there..many thanks for sharing with One Shot..cheers Pete

  3. What a ride it was Eric..:) interesting read,happy you linked at one shot..looking forward to more contributions..cheers :)

  4. Vivid train of thought, Eric. Love that line "past columns of fire and the screaming trees
    that grow along the river that flows upstream" Wow.

  5. Wow Eric- some ride indeed. What a chronicle of history and the lives of people

    Nicely done

    Thanks for riding on the One Shot Train

    beams from the Moon

  6. And what happens when the ride starts again? Enjoyed this. Thanks.

  7. Wow...what a massive ride!! Good writing and thanks for sharing:)

  8. Those animals scare me! I'm glad the Terrible Train didn't let them on!

  9. Very powerful. I kept seeing images flash by the window as we rode, the times and places though history.

  10. Thanks for all the kind words everyone!

    Perhaps the train will ride again in the future.

  11. okay, that's one train i don't want to ride! very interesting angles.


  12. Such a long journey filled with the heaviness of life's sorrows. Well done with such truth. Heartspell

  13. I kept hoping for a bright spot at the end. Whew! What a ride!

  14. Sorry, Kat... but this is the TERRIBLE train!

  15. What a ride that could have been. I guess you must have drawn positives from them all that is why you could write this outstandingly.

  16. Eric this is TERRIBLE...

    very richly written. congratulations and thanks for dropping by

  17. Some ride, this! Changing landscapes, ups turned to dark lows, greens turned to greys and browns, blues to red...
    I wonder if the ride backwards would be as interesting..

    A great read!!! Thanks for sharing..

  18. God I felt absolutley drained after that ride. I don't want another like that! Who is worse of the person inside or those animals outside?
    Hard hitting

  19. Wow, wow, wow! What a ride that was. You have some fantastic verses here. Many thanks for sharing this. ♥

  20. It had a hint for for me of the same moral outrage and tone of The Pilgrims Progress
    Thanks for dropping by and reading Campaigning. I’m drawn to poetry as a storytelling technique and this was about the life of a woman emptied out by the political ambitions of her husband.

  21. wow.
    you know, though i haven't heard your voice, i can hear you reading this one aloud.


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