Poetry I wrote while in transit…

3.) On a sleeper-train from Colombo to Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Tonight I’ll spend my sleeping
in a dirty train car.
The tip of India’s teardrop
is still a long way off.
The lights here in the cabin
shine off walls of green.
And the dull-gray painted shutters
hide the poorest place I’ve seen.

Tonight I’ll close my eye-lids
to the sound of old machines.
A rusted wall-fan spinning,
and grinding metal wheels.
And in the aisle un-sleeping
a machine, just the same,
is a tireless conductor
who will work until I wake.

Tomorrow I’ll be humbled
just like I was today.
When I can, I’ll give a smile
and I’ll ask for your name.
It isn’t right but somehow
the divide between is vast.
But I will smile as you pass me by
when the first, one day are last.

2.) Bangkok hotel lobby about to head to the airport to fly to Sri Lanka

Bangkok is a tightly woven tapestry of purple, gold and orange.  It is a flowing fabric of smiling strangers and bowing nods.  It is clean-lined towers and lavishly decorated shrines that peak towards the sky at every corner like an upside down tear drop, melting against the earth’s gravity, and instead towards the sun’s.  It is a frantic scheme for making money…theirs and ours.
It is beyond me, or perhaps a bus ride away with the pavement peaking up from a crack in the floor boards.

1.) Jingzhou to Shanghai on a 6 hour Express train

You’ll never know me by the look of my face
just a stranger on the bullet train
yours and mine, both cracked by the wind
lips cannot explain

Cover me up in curtains and crowds
but I can always be seen
I am betrayed by chestnut brown curls
and eyes of foreign green


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