LONG DISTANCE EXPRESS
in its allotted platform the train sits,
I stare out through hermetic glass.
The preparations are completed.
The guard looks to the front
past the long flanks of the thoroughbred
steps back, the age - old green flag
simply waved, and the peremptory
Imperceptibly the train breathes in and moves.
Like a babe in arms I am cradled.
There's the world, locked out
from my seat
scales of past and future tipping
where I leave myself behind.
Now the train is breathing out
in a miracle of fusion
all a - crackle and spark
and all is a constant
dragging its tail clear of black walls
then low houses appear
like piano keys pressed
with gathering speed.
Now an open sky a bleach of distance
bruised by a passing train that
implodes a feather's distance away
and next, an anonymous station
is swallowed bits at a time.
Now the driver knows all
senses the suction
lightly observing the esplanade of
dials, the grinning tell - all of
while his hand caresses the union
of power to track.
He watches the seas of power
part on each side
the waves cut back,
him as the skipper.
Now behind him a languor of sleep
or the twitching of phones,
others thread the needle of the train
with their bobbins of procession
taking handfuls of support
no moment wasted.
Now all is aloft on passive air
the train surpassing itself
under pressing bridges,
puffed up and proud
in splendid isolation,
its nose a leopard
hunting for a destination.
Soon that sun will be the big signal
and we will enter the gates
of a citadel on the
babes in arms.