Michael Philips

The Peace Train - Poem by Michael Philips

You can’t rely on the peace train,
always jumping the tracks
or taking the wrong one
stopping at the wrong stations
and bypassing the right ones
always arriving late or not at all.

Well, enough of that banal analogy.
Even Cat Stevens is off that jag now,
Should I change my name too,
change my appearance,
maybe some tinted contacts and a wig?

I’ll get on board as a forlorn salaryman,
riding the rails until I feel the rumble and steel everywhere I go,
getting jostled by manikins in my sleep,
drinking bitter coffee instead of the Chateau Latour I deserve,
longing for an escape pod to a 19th century pastoral canvas,
or an express elevator to God,
who will smile knowingly and
speak to me in my own vernacular
and thank me
for infiltrating
and leaving the time bomb on
the commuter peace train.
There was no detonation,
but he knows it was an act of love.

Comments about The Peace Train by Michael Philips

  • (10/11/2005 10:58:00 AM)

    the twist at the end almost serves to humanize the monsters that set off bombs in crowds. well done!

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  • (10/9/2005 10:44:00 AM)

    Michael, I really liked your last stanza until you mentioned leaving the time bomb...too real, even if this one didn't detonate. Maybe I've entirely missed the point, but this turned me off. (I love the line about your deserving the wine...and just wish you hadn't left the bomb.)

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  • (10/9/2005 10:25:00 AM)


    I like the way this poem moves from one place to another. It's a good thing you got out of the first stanza when you did; I was about to jump. 'jostled by manikins in my sleep' is a nice image. Gets a 10.
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  • (10/9/2005 10:23:00 AM)

    Wow! Michael this is one your best ones of late! Nice job...funny how even a former pacifist like ol' Cat Stevens...could morph into a homicidal zealot with a cause...in like - a New York minute....no pun intended. Very, very good. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, October 9, 2005

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