Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Two trains, two worlds

I commute to the city, considered the hub
of financial world, by riding the Toronto rocket 
Its metallic hiss
long spine measuring 6 cars, fully opened
rapidly follows the tracks
Cool, clean & modern
with computer generated lights & voice over
Commuters carry gadgets, phones & games
All polite & courteous
Though once in a while, a shirtless man
breaks the chained monotony
& dances carefree as
blue butterfly

The lake beside tower
shimmers blue of summer -
Swans burst, pure of light

Back in the old town, the train
is a workhorse
piping wearily along mud-tracks
You ride along with
boxes of produce (rice & vegetables)
animals in cages (pigs & chickens to be slaughtered)
baskets of fresh fish & shells
It is noisy
Smelling of sweat & musky earth
Dirt seeps into your skin  
& you pray that it will not break down
before your destination.

Sun browns your face
while palm trees keep snatching 
to play with your straw hat 

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Trains Hosted by Bill
Picture credit:   here


  1. Interesting the difference between the two trains. I used to occassionally ride the train in to the city we lived in. It was cool, to see all the people. Even then though people were into their tech or a book. I was too busy looking around, capturing little things like that swan. ha. That would not be fun, having the train break down in the middle of now where. Though I guess it could be.

  2. Great contrast in this train-painting. Love the shirtless guy dancing and the entire 2nd part that evoked a memory of my childhood before TV and gadgets took over our lives and we would go to the Pasadena train station just to watch.

  3. Twin Haibuns chugging, churning, huffing, rolling; brilliant contrast, with killer haiku tags; seemed to prefer the blue collar grittiness of the second train/poem. the workhorse vs. the silver flyer. I am unable to break out of the Haibun fascination I have formed over the last several months.

  4. oh i love the man who breaks up the sterile a bit - it's cool to have those clean new trains but i think the older one you describe has a bit more personality..smiles

  5. this is rich in contrasts - you've caught the soul of these two lines.

  6. I think I've ridden in both kinds of trains - but never (sadly) had a shirtless man dancing to break up the monotony of commuterville. And, despite the smell and rattle of the creaky and unreliable old train, I kind of miss those!

  7. I love the last seven lines of both sections.

  8. Hopefully the shirtless man doesn't have huge man boobs lol

  9. This is so rich in contrast!
    Beautifully penned.

    Lots of love,

  10. Ha, that was probably my son, dancing like a butterfly. LOL. I love the contrasting trains, and, especially, both sets of italicized lines....they are glorious.

  11. Wonderful constrasts

  12. Love this poem Grace. Love the contrast. The shirtless man made me think of Kate Mia, something he would do. I like the haiky that follows each story stanza. Very nice!

  13. It's me again. It's not imortant but just wanted to clarify that I did not have blackouts on the N.Y. subway, or anywhere. The blackout I referred to was a power blackout while I was riding the subway. The whole city went dark and people were all extremely helpful to me, a very young girl alone. I should have been more clear. Your comment made me smile though.

  14. I can picture these two different trains very well. I like the details that you used to describe each train. The Toronto Rocket sounds like what I experienced in Washington D.C.- not in New York where many of the subways were quite rickety.

  15. Lovely dear Grace !I love old trains we used them to travel many years ago, and someones with fruits, baskets, food and chicken especially between little towns:))

  16. Lovely dear Grace !I love old trains we used them to travel many years ago, and someones with fruits, baskets, food and chicken especially between little towns:))

  17. Lovely dear Grace !I love old trains we used them to travel many years ago, and someones with fruits, baskets, food and chicken especially between little towns:))

  18. Really great depiction of "the Toronto rocket
    Its metallic hiss"---and the contrast is fantastic....even the pacing works to perfection to delineate the difference between the two trains.

  19. Train journeys sometimes offer a slice of life so far removed from one's own day to day drudgery... they frighten, fascinate and educate all at once! Love them!

  20. Ah.. the chained boredom of trains.. one car after another
    in straight row lines.. coupled together perfectly
    without a rail out of line.. oh to move
    outside the tracks
    of life
    is a mystery
    too untold

  21. it's been a while since i've taken a train. i think if my goal was to arrive at a particular destination in a timely fashion to fulfill an objective i'd take the first modern streamline but if i was traversing land worth the attention i would take the second chugging train. when people would complain about weather or inclement conditions i remind them and myself that many memories are remembered because of discord or the deviation from the common or norm

    wonderful contrast, mi amiga

  22. I enjoyed every line. Great piece.

  23. love the sketch of two totally different world...

  24. Ha... the shirtless guy sounds like a good time... lil craziness among the ole computer screen addicts is never a bad thing... and love the workhorse era you painted as well, even tho it's less convenient, I feel people had more of a sense of togetherness... nowadays people will watch you struggle and most likely record you for a funny bit on the web... okay totally going off course with this comment, I'll shut up. lol

  25. I imagine these two worlds passing by each other, each with its own drama. And I see an Agatha Christie novel unfolding....

  26. What a contrast and most vividly captured. One certainly meets all kinds as the train meanders through unusual terrains in both worlds. Wonderful write Grace!



  27. Hi Grace! I love the way you balance the modern and asceptic reality of the rocket train which seems lifeless with the shirtless man dancing like a butterfly. That image says so much!

  28. The lake beside tower
    shimmers blue of summer!


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