POEM: NIGHT TRAIN THROUGH TIME

The night train rolled on through the mist and the snow

All freewheels on fire running to the dawn below

Tracks squeaking in the moisture of the night’s frozen air

Never knowing if or when its load will make it there

A bleeding cargo of bodies thrown away in the war

Between good and evil and the window and the door

The night train makes music that we’ve never heard

Whistles of boxcars, steam dreams and an unspoken word.

When the sun was last seen it slid down the sky

Where moonlit graveyards welcome everything that dies

Bound by the ties of the heart and of the mind

People like you and I don’t care to leave things behind

Walking in a river of crushed spirits and broken bones

Pales in comparison to the way that time moans

As it slams like a broken shutter in the wind

And a steel-trap door in the floor that calls you a friend.

Midnight serenades about lost loves and hearts

Rips the world in unison like paper in a spark

Or like a showdown in the park and a victory in the dark

Tales of the departed and the arriving fall apart

Leaving all hopes twisted and tattered like the cloth

That a banshee made of paper in the wind took off

An upside down vision as surreal and bizarre

As an arrow in the moon and a bullet on a star.

The sign on the outskirts of town once read,

“Take away all your living and leave me the dead,

Burn down all the fences and paint the town red

With blood and with desire then put a knife in your head.”

I laid the blade in the dust and let time do its work

Its dirty deeds of malevolence that leave everyone hurt

Buried in the sand like the shores at high tide

All that I forgotten has shriveled up and died.

On the hill at the valley stands a wandering soul

Looking down into nothing where everything is cold

Searchers and drifters and wanderers and warriors

And singers and poets and dreamers and lawyers

Politicians and bureaucrats and cops and crooks

Leap through the darkness like demons in books

With a back to the horizon and his eyes on the pit

The Troubadour raises his pitchfork and spits.

Carry the wounded on gargoyle wings

Ransack and plunder the vaults of the kings

Who stole from the poor to feed only the rich

Take their golden shovels and dig them a ditch

And cast every stone of their kingdom into the dirt

Let them all remember the spirits they have hurt

If you can hear the footsteps somewhere through the breeze

You will see the survivors emerge from the seas.

Now one last demand as the kingdom is spent

Return all the spoils that the villager sent

Then journey back to the beginning of an unknown land

Put your feet in the mud and cut blood from your hand

Then watch as the sands of time drip away

Morning to twilight, night time to the day

Let darkness descend and let daylight ascend

For time is never and forever until you reach the end.

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