Posts Tagged ‘type dancing’

Freight Yard 1

ON THE RAILROAD
By David Allen

I spent a good part of my youth
playing on the railroad
all my livelong days…

When I lived in Roslyn Heights,
on Long Island’s North Shore,
the tracks were my turf.
Located just a block from
our housing project,
the tracks were where I trolled
for soda bottles to cash in at the local deli.
They are where my friends got in trouble
for dropping rocks from a bridge
onto cars using the new expressway.

The freight yard was where we pretended
to be outlaws, running atop the empty boxcars,
jumping from car to car, shouting
“This is a holdup!”
Once I even rode a boxcar to the next town,
pretending I was a hobo, singing Woody Guthrie songs.

A few years later, living in Huntington Station,
the tracks were where we placed
pennies, collecting them after they
had been flattened by commuter trains.
As teens we rode the trains to the Big Apple,
our playground during the formative years.

Once I waited on the platform
with a hundred other commuters,
on my way to an internship
as a computer programmer.
The train came, but I stayed,
the scene was too depressing
to make it a career.

The last train episode I lived
before I escaped to other adventures,
was as a shipping clerk in the next town.
Every morning I boarded the train and hoped
the conductor wouldn’t get to me before my stop
so I could use the ticket some other day.

Commutersimage

Whatif

WHATIF (Updated)
By David Allen

Last night, while I lay thinking here
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I don’t wake tomorrow?
Whatif my joy’s less than my sorrow?
Whatif my novel remains unwrote?
Whatif Trump gets all the votes?
Whatif the IRS audits my return?
Whatif I forget what I’ve learned?
Whatif climate change is real?
Whatif I ate my last meal?
Whatif there really is no God?
Whatif there is and he’s a clod?
Whatif thinking was a crime?
Whatif my poems failed to rhyme?
Whatif I should arrive too late?
Whatif a psychic knows my fate?
Whatif my car should fail to start?
Whatif mowing strains my heart?
Whatif my inner voice goes mum?
Whatif I take up chewing gum?
Whatif my identity gets stolen?
Whatif my senior years aren’t golden?
Whatif a twister takes my house?
Whatif I die before my spouse?
What if my chocolate milk goes sour?
Whatif my computer loses power?
Whatif my basement floods again?
Whatif the ink dries up inside this pen?
And then I smiled and cleared my mind
And the whatifs fled, calling me unkind.

 

This was a challenge from the Last Stanza Poetry Association, which meets twice a month in  Elwood, Indiana.  We were to write a poem based on one of our favorites. I chose to update Shel Silverstein’s “Whatif,” which I used to read to my kids and grandkids.

don't let poetry die

 

WORDS
By David Allen

Nameless nouns
Nod at the nuanced
Adjectives attracting
All the attention
Of the adverbs,
As the verbs ventilate
Their vile visions
Of the poems poured
Painfully from pens
The poet pressed
To the page.

 

 

2014 in review

Posted: January 1, 2015 in Poetry
Tags: , ,

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.