Monday, October 1, 2018

Murmurs in the crowd



I move with the crowd, stepping forward, stepping back, as if in a familiar dance. My facial expression is reflected in the faces all around me.  My hands are curled in, protecting my space, so thin it is an invisible distance.   Am I unique and special?  Against the sea of humanity of every skin and hair color, I am but a speck, perhaps a leaf falling unnoticed to the pavement.  Commuting does this to you - a perspective of the other's heartbeat, a bigger world.

On the upside, there is comfort in the shared journey, even for a short period of time.  Wherever we came from, and where we are heading to, here is a communal space - a base of touchdown,  a point of reference.  There is safety in numbers, as if it is a validation that I am going to the right direction.  Even the clothes  and shoes I am wearing is validated by the crowd of commuters.   We are all mirrors of each other, glazed by city dust.

Outside the train, the windows tell a story of our changing seasons.   The maple trees have turned to pumpkin yellow, mellow orange and brown hues. Grey clouds and mist hover most of our mornings.   A chill nips the air and the geese have taken flight to warmer shores.    We huddle in our seats- coats, sweaters, boots- waiting for the doors to chime, opening to another flood of faces.   


murder of crows 
on power lines and street lamps-
sunset recedes, falling leaf-





Posted for dVerse Poets Pub, Haibun Monday:   Murmuration with guest host Qbit/Randall.  Theme:  One's self, En-Masse.  Please join us when the pub doors open at 3pm EST.

19 comments:

  1. You had me with /we are all mirrors of each other, glazed by city dust/. You often have used commuting as a subject, but this is one of your best. You are the reason that poets make good witnesses and war correspondents--you have such a strong sense of place and message.

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  2. Oh I also saw myself as a commuter... but I have been in rebellion against the collective for a long time. Maybe I have never learned how to see myself in the mirror of others.

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  3. We are like those birds. They may wonder how we are able to walk like that.

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  4. I like the balance of thought here - the pain and pleasure of being one of many. The final paragraph reminded me that in the long run it doesn't really matter - nature is so much bigger than we are. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

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  5. Beautiful! and I especially like the feeling of the moving train remaining the same whilst the seasons change with rapidity

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  6. You've captured the commute so well, Grace, with the dance of the crowd, the reflected facial expression and the space one so carefully protects as an 'invisible distance'. I especially love the phrase 'a perspective of the other's heartbeat, a bigger world'. The prose is so well summed up in the sentence:We are all mirrors of each other, glazed by city dust. But I really enjoyed the third paragraph and its description of my favourite season - and the haiku, which is sublime. :)

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  7. The one in the many and yet all similar and different it sure can be.

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  8. I like how finish with the crows - I have this personal belief that crows mock us - laugh at how seriously we talk ourselves. Lovely, well written piece.

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  9. I love the idea of being part of a living organism... a city. Perhaps were are just leaves in the wind. But there are times when something calls for one to help the other and it happens.

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  10. And this is why I fled the city. Too many people all breathing the same air. You describe the commute too well. I got a feeling of anxity just reading it. Well done!

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  11. Oh you also made a commuting haibun. Doing this everyday made me feel each word of this piece. That closing haiku is so apt.

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  12. On the upside, there is comfort
    in the shared journey, even for
    a short period of time.There
    is safety in numbers

    That is what life is about. One gets into the rut but still feels safe in that many are in the same boat.

    Hank

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  13. Another poem full of colour. You do this so well.

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  14. Really beautiful. Your descriptions are perfect.

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  15. A beautiful reflection, Grace, on being part of the crowd. Glenn mentioned my favorite line from the prose, but I really like the haiku, too. I like how it seems to be a scene from the moving train.

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  16. Strange how you can feel safety in numbers while that would be a hint for me that something needs to change. But wow, to blend in completely to where you feel you and the others are reflecting one another -- I can honestly say I don't know what that kind of camouflage, that solidarity feels like. Maybe it's exhilarating. A complete dissolution of ego, much like dying and joining Spirit.

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  17. Oh how I recall those commuting days. Yet, there is a certain security and solidarity in it.

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  18. I commuted to work on the bus at my old job. You actually made me a bit nostalgic for it... just a bit though...

    Your haiku reads like a resigned sigh, bidding the day and the warmth farewell.

    I enjoyed reading this.

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  19. This is so exsquisite, Grace! Beautifully vulnerable and poignant!

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