because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse


The grumble of a distant train shakes
me from dreams,
metallic smell
of her crusted veins lingering
in the moist air like a coming threat
of thunder. Fumbling
for the bathroom
light i
find myself
staring at a mirror
turned back to sand,
a shoreline of grainy morning
shadows where
the loneliest word is written

and erased by creeping tides,
traced and non-existed
like the back-and-forth
of a crosshead whose engine
to be off down the tracks,

my breath like her whistle
steaming for what lies
around the next stretch
of coast.

26 responses

  1. Should mention the help I got from this site‘s glossary of steam locomotive terms. Thanks!

    October 11, 2011 at 11:09 am

  2. expatinCAT

    Most of us yearn to make those journeys and sometimes those dreams become reality. The image of the mirror becoming sand again is marvellous.. // Peter.

    October 11, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    • Thanks, Peter. The mirror/sand part is probably my favorite part as well. šŸ™‚

      October 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

  3. “shadows where
    the loneliest word is written”
    What a stark picture painting here.
    Sparingly and beautifully unravelled.

    October 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    • Thank you, Suzy.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:49 am

  4. this has a real nice feel to it…great imagery in the mirror turned back to sand as well…i like…love trains too…a great vehicle fora poem…and heading around that next bend…

    so i will see you friday right? need to send an email for directions or where i am going…

    October 11, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    • Thanks, as always, brian. aren’t we all looking for that next stretch of coast? šŸ™‚

      yes to Friday night– email heading your way shortly. so looking forward to meeting you! (and at the same time nervous that THE brian of OneStop and dVerse fame is coming to grace our little poetry gathering– yikes!) šŸ˜‰

      October 12, 2011 at 11:36 am

  5. Lovely. I don’t feel like this anymore, but remember well when I was younger and did! Beautifully written.

    October 11, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    • That sounds a little bit sad to me, Elizabeth. I saw this on a friend’s page just this morning:

      ‘…He looked across the table to me and smiled. “A person is not old until regrets take the place of dreams,” he said. I smiled too.’

      I hope there are still some untried stretches of coast for you, and, if not, that the tracks you have already traveled have brought you to a place of contentment.

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your kind thoughts.


      October 12, 2011 at 11:48 am

  6. Would be nice to make one of those journies. A lot of it can be found in your words though, wonderfully done!

    October 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    • They do say good writing can transport you, I guess. šŸ™‚ Gracias, Patt! šŸ™‚

      October 12, 2011 at 11:43 am

  7. the word bar

    I have always wanted to just pack a bag, run, jump and ride…

    I feel the wonder and melancholy in your words.. well done!!

    October 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    • Thanks! I’ve always had that itch as well… maybe some day…. šŸ˜‰

      October 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

  8. This is gorgeous!

    October 11, 2011 at 9:14 pm

  9. The train and the sea. Must be that one on California coast. It was astonishing to see such beauty umblemished by Miami- like “reach to the sky” sun bleached dominoes called condominiums.

    October 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    • You mean there is really a place where the train runs by the sea? and here I thought I had just conjured it up… will have to make that West Coast trip one of these days. šŸ™‚

      October 12, 2011 at 11:38 am

  10. a shoreline of grainy morning
    shadows where
    the loneliest word is written

    Loved this especially but the whole piece transported me – and great interview at Jingle! It’s always wonderful to find other scientist/poets about!

    October 12, 2011 at 2:09 am

    • Anna, thank you. Glad you enjoyed this, and that you saw the interview over at Jingle. It was really a lot of fun to do but I didn’t think anyone really read it. šŸ™‚ And yes, I think it’s all the science-y flavors to your poetry that draw me most about your own work. Like attracts like, I guess!

      October 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

  11. trains are so wonderful and your poetry really reflect an image so well done excellent penned \

    October 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm

  12. the way you use physical objects to convey your emotions is outstanding.

    charming style, Thanks for sharing!

    October 13, 2011 at 3:28 am

  13. Really enjoy your descriptive write on this one so true, waking up in a solitary life.
    deep expressions…Thank you, I can just see us all standing in the mirror one at a time.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:06 am

  14. Anonymous

    Very fine piece. I admire the spareness, the sharp imagery, the imagination. You don’t let elaboration get in between you and the reader. I enjoyed reading kt.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:30 am

  15. Steve King

    I admire the spare style. This poem displays imagination and compelling imagery. You don’t let unnecessary elaboration get in between your words and the reader. I enjoyed this.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:40 am

  16. cool metaphors as usual! šŸ™‚ thanks for the visit!

    October 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm

  17. I love all kind of transport, they all take you to new places … but trains have a special charm …
    My breath likes indeed the whistle and your poem very much …

    October 21, 2011 at 12:24 am


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