self

Write something beautiful.

If only I had the words,

the delicate control

over language

required to craft

spectacular art.

Mind paint

bursting into life

on the synapses of another’s brain.

Imagine

chemical reactions to be colours,

a full spectrum of thoughts

to explain

all of this.

Or is everything the pitch of night?

Is this why we can’t control

the way we feel?

We have whip-quick,

intense reaction

without the ability

to ever define the action.

If I see a rainbow reflecting

in eyes

I match it with

my marble swirl.

But it bubbles with stars,

burning,

retreating,

returning.

A molten pot

being constantly stirred.

Not disturbed,

but necessarily spurred

to go searching,

reaching down into rich earth

for meaning.

Expanding consciousness

like wind-borne mist

through forest,

river,

mountain,

animal.

Making a list

of all the things

engaging me,

there’s always something I miss

and whatever was there,

disappears.

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Train Trips

Trip 1.

She seemed to have

a nice smile.

I couldn’t see her mouth

but her eyes crinkled

in a way that made me

want to listen to her laugh.

 

Trip 2.

He was diligently talking business

while watching TV on his Ipad

and looking annoyed at anyone who ventured near him

in the crowded belly of the train.

From somewhere hidden

came an urge to break his nose.

 

Trip 3.

Pulling off a flamboyant winter style

only those of African descent seem able to,

he was comfortable

with the closeness of the crowd, friendly even.

I didn’t often see that.

 

Trip 4.

It was a lengthy trip

and I had a lot of time to think,

concealed behind my earphones

and contemplatively silent beneath my hood.

 

Trip 5.

Somehow the train seemed alive

and I tried to embrace it.

Using the rollicking motion,

the scenes outside

and my own fluctuating mood

I did my best to create the most beautiful sequence of words.

I never even came close to

cellar door.

 

Trip 6.

To keep him occupied,

she patiently blew bubbles

while he sat giggling in his pram.

It was a moment to grin at.

 

Trip 7.

Newspapers, daters, haters, screens, screams, teens, make-up, shaken up, dust ups, food, dudes, moods, seats, heat, meat, feet, love, beauty, repulsion, religion, scepticism, politicians, aggression, recession, depression, skin, sin, kin, violence, patience, impatience, intelligence, music, silence, deaf, death, dumbness, blindness, numbness, a caress, sunglasses, Pokémon masters, disasters, headphones, IPhones, IPads, dads, mums, sons, daughters, naughty kids, funny kids, cute kids, lunchbox lids, sad, mad, lads, shoes, losers, winners, grinners, colours, shades, blades, debts paid, fights, lights, tights, bodies, money, honeys, necklaces, familiar faces, strange faces, wasters, junkies, drugs, hugs, kisses, hisses, whispers, swisspers, fibbers, breasts, tests, jests, failure, success, business, less, more, scores, sores, laws, bores, cords, elephant pictures, erotic fiction, varied diction, imagination, the heart of a nation, conversation, action, inaction,  races, braces, racists, tastes, smells, sounds, feelings, dealings, healing, steel, heels, banana peels, pairs, stares, stairs, hairs, solitary cares, dirt, shirts, emotional hurts, nerds, ‘birds’, g force,  g string, of course, sauce, Red Bull, bullshit, dresses, messes, lessons, brains, names, shame, more of the same, men, women, humans, dicks.

There’s nothing you can’t find on a train.

 

Trip 8.

A train at night is the worst thing.

You can’t even look out the window

without meeting a stranger’s reflected eye.

 

Trip 9.

You feel like such a disappointment

when you sit down

next to someone who would rather take the trip alone.

Her tweaked mouth told me she’d suffer

my company next to her,

but that was it.

 

Trip 10.

All alone,

looking vaguely out windows

with a murmured conversation here and there

in your periphery,

one can really take the time to consider things.

 

Trip 11.

The faces rushing past seem to mirror

the entire social landscape;

people hold hopeful stares in their curiosity

but are not interested enough

to push up

on what is crushing them down.

 

Trip 12.

Essentially a box

packed full of humanity,

it manages to turn people

into something less.

Everyone would prefer to be strangers.

 

Trip 13.

Not enough people look through a window

that isn’t framed by an IPhone case.

Maybe for the animals it’s safer that way;

less inclination to destroy the world

if they aren’t seeing it.

 

Trip 14.

Travelling is simple

until the conductor sounds like a radio wave

and no one wakes you up after termination

halfway home.

 

Trip 15.

People are interesting

even when they’re not.

I wish I could see inside them

and understand everything.

 

Trip 16.

A voice so delicate,

it made the train seem like a monster

running us away to grind fragile bones

somewhere dark. Somewhere sounds fall dead

and the only way out is the one you can’t see.

You can just hear that voice

from that sweet face

but it’s all so delicate.

At the same time you hear your salvation in it,

you feel more lost than ever.

 

Trip 17.

All in all I think kids are becoming smarter

and dumber too.

It’s so jarring to hear advanced vocabularies

discussing such base topics.

 

Trip 18.

Kids catching the train to school,

hordes of them learning

before they get educated.

Their parents private money

does nothing for them sitting on the floor

at the feet of tradies, the elderly, businessmen, older students, drug addicts, and single mothers.

 

Trip 19.

They say don’t touch unaccompanied baggage.

Don’t give it back,

don’t take it away.

Alert the staff at the next station

when it’s too late either way.

 

Trip 20.

I type on my phone,

flick through six different tabs,

addicted like all the rest

but always admiring the singular clear focus

of the train.

If I could have that for one day

every problem that inspires distress,

every distraction or complication,

would fade.

 

Trip 21.

Every obsession,

everything you can’t get out of your head,

bubbles to the surface of your mind,

punctuated by the stops

and new faces.

 

Trip 22.

Traces of all the bad scents

find their way through the whole carriage

and without noise, all accuse each other

the same way people scowl inside

during conversation with intolerable

acquaintances they somehow got stuck

taking the ride with.

 

Trip 23.

It was early,

but getting on to spring,

the sun was up.

I felt my eyes glisten

as I witnessed the kindness of strangers.

I was happy to see it still existed

but sad

because my reaction proved to me

it had become an anomaly.

 

Trip 24.

On the train you’re as close

to people as you’re ever going to get

and have all the time you’ll ever need

to look at them.

You see the nape of a neck

and a different colour hair on the back of a head

and know they will never be able to see themselves in the same way.

There is a part of them that will always

be more familiar than yourself.

 

Trip 25.

Sometimes you see things that make your head turn.

Like a nervous man with bandaged legs

wrapped in a hospital blanket.

You wonder.

 

Trip 26.

In the early mornings before you get on,

the people around remind you of seagulls.

They have one objective.

Their lives revolve around how they will procure

the next cigarette or hit of something stronger.

And it makes you sad.

And it makes me sad.

 

Trip 27.

Everyone’s knee is shaking,

or their hand is tapping,

or their cheeks are flushing.

We’re all conscious of how we look

or if we’ll say the right things.

 

Trip 28.

Life is like a train.

People think it’s a line

but it’s a cycle

and it doesn’t stop

just because they decide to step off.