Loose Train Haiku Or Similar - New York To Philly - A Train Journal - Poem by Warren Falcon
Nearing Princeton Station
What a wonderful world
this New Jersey is!
Blue train engines!
Just turning Autumn leaves
The opposing train
Old graves by a lake
Old woman passing in aisle
Fleeting sign outside explains -
Loose Train Hokku-no-renga
For the blind woman
on the train every
journey is inner
She touches my shoulder,
moves just one seat ahead
feels the winter collar
metal ring pinned
to its shoulder
smiles when she touches it
dark rings of her eyes
light up momentarily
What universes are in the heads all around me
While reading zen master Ummon,
famous for his one word responses
to pupils questions about the nature
of mind, I happen to look up, see young,
clean-cut preppie reading Wall Street
Journal large bold print:
YES-BUT-TERS DON'T JUST KILL IDEAS.
Congruence of Ummon and General Motors
ad strikes me. I see in mind's eye, so real:
Ummon enters train car, walks up to preppie,
taps shoulder, thunders in ear,
YES BUT! !
I chuckle, smugly 'stinking of enlightenment, '
pleased, translating, 'kill ideas to get to
the 'thing itself 'or the 'no thing.'
Suddenly Ummon turns, smacks me hard
with his KATZ stick, BAM! And he is correct,
of course, to slam me. Arrogance along the
way, no matter how 'apparently' fitting my
zenny smartness, deserves a hard
I humbly return to my book
just write what is seen from the
train window nearing Philadelphia:
Hokku-no-ranga Close To Philly:
off the square
in the darkest cells
those forms bursting forth
In Prison Window
a jelly jar, water pours
man hands arranging
a little green vine
View upon entering Philly
the hairline of God
City garden by tracks
A scarecrow even there
Plastic milk jug for a head!
Passing glimpse over bridge -
railing beside a stream
a thin student reading Nietzsche -
'He who can grasp me,
let him grasp me.
However, I am not your crutch.'
- from 'Thus Spake Zarathustra', Friedrich Nietzsche
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