It is sunny here!
I’m pretty sure we made this sun, this snowglared day, just by being awesome.  So, I do confess that these are lazy vacation poems.  They contain the ideas, but the words aren’t there yet.  There will be a time for revision.  You, my poem friends, get to hear the first drafts. That is terrifying, but at the end of this year I will return to each one and reflect and re-vision.  I like to teach revision as a re-seeing, a new view, an uncontemplated angle. 

As hard as it is to let them stand as is, it is harder still to spend more time doing this when the mountains beckon.  So, fast as can be, here’s a poem about the train.

Burlington Express Dining Car

The route of the empire builder,
through pitching and falling mountains,
didn’t run straight through, but curved
and bent,

leaving always through someone else’s shadow.

We came in luxury cars to know this land. We wore hats with silk ribbons and concealed threads for repair.

For luncheon we had our choice of fresh seasonable fish or diced beef,
followed by tea biscuits and whiskey.  Start the day with a bloody mary or screwdriver.

Or no, we were adventuresome newspapermen, traveling on rails to bring word to small towns.

Or no, no, of course we were the ones who came to stay. We homesteaded and fenced,  but this time we were more benevolent guests and kept our gods to ourselves. 

Our work was survival and barn-raising and crop rotation, and satisfying seasons of ferocious climate.  And we only ever heard tell about the dining car, because we brought bread kneaded by hand, and small to medium pieces of smoked trout.

We came to stay, and the train became a clock,
calculating hours of growing daylight. In the empire, we were small, but this land grew us and we kept building.

It is not likely that we’ll travel east again.

Well, that was weird.  Sit down to write a train poem and it gets all expansiony and thinky.  Hmm.  This is one that will need a serious relook.  But not today! Time to play.   Happy Monday, people of the poems.