the end of the world

This story is true.

I love every train
for the sound of its wheels
there's an ache in my chest
that it heals

but for you
it's the sound of the end of the world

the driver stomps hard on the brakes a block early
and calls out
"last stop for the red line!
last stop for the red line!"
until all of us spill out, confused,
to round the corner on a street
flanked with fire engines, sirens;
commuters perspiring, turned away from Berwyn's gates
I gaze up at the platform, the train's gaping doors,
the uniformed men's heavy steps on the boards
they have summoned a piece of the world's end for you
our red line halts in mourning for yours

cause for you it's the end of the world

a man tells me you hurled
yourself onto the tracks
a woman, he says, old or young, white or black he can't say
no one there knows your name
and I say, it's a shame
it's a shame

that for you it's the end of the world

once I listened to Metra conductors
another world ended
by metal momentum, they said
in the moment before you were dead
you looked the train conductor in the eye
you made it her business
you made her bear

and all I'll say is, it's a shame

because men lay tracks
and men build engines
and men write schedules
but God made trains
because all of his children have somewhere to go

and I weep as I walk down the street, cause I know
that for you it's the end of the world.

love's irrational

Only reason sentences aren't capitalized is 'cause my n and b keys, as I've mentioned often, are broken, and I am lazy. And many sentences begin with n. The first line is something I've had bouncing around in my head for years; I'm as surprised as you at the work it finally led into.
Oh, divine desire and desire divine. That which pulls us outside of self, into eternity which brought forth time. :D And all good things.

as many names as thunderstorms have legs
what is the shape of this, its boundary?
make me a puddle, dripping, coiled, who begs
for one more drop to slip inside of me.
slit through the tape, free this multiplicand
to wriggle, slick, down every integer.
we smear out reams, but our weak, human hands
cramp, tremble. still. no sequences recur.
no rational intention makes desire
or fractions it, divides it to an end.
for this all reasons labor, yearn, perspire
till all we are is blood and ink to spend,
to pour out, helplessly demanding more.
come, reason; bring us near what we adore.

one question

Amber just lent me G.K. Chesterton's Heretics. XD I'm not even finished with chapter 1 yet. Unregardless, it's sonnet time. These events all occurred, but gradually, over the past couple months in different contexts. I cherry-picked 'em to make for a cohesive group of images. That is poetic license.

I've never been there, but for what it's worth,
I've sipped its nectar when my throat was parched.
And I say heaven is invading earth,
and I exist to speed its forward march.
The bread inside the cupboard has grown stale.
The mop I drag across the floor trails dirt.
The funds I sent were stolen from the mail.
The words I said, meant to uplift you, hurt.
Let's bite down hard--we did not starve today.
The floor stands solid underneath the grime.
God grant me grace, to earn what I must pay,
and you, to launch forgiveness into time.
It falls to us to answer, if we dare,
one question. Heaven can exist--but where?

how much is left

Really, I have very little to complain about. Hit the schedule jackpot this weekend--got two weekend days off in a row, which never ever happens for retail employees in a 24 hour store, am I right? Got to hang out with Dave and also Mom and Amber, and good times were had by all.
At work today, though, I was not my usual dynamic self. The negativity of people around me seemed more noticeable than usual, which I think reflects a change in me rather than them. I ended up starting a lot of conversations that couldn't quite get finished because urgent tasks interrupted. Happens all the time; today I just noticed it more.
This song obviously rose out of personal feeling, but it comes from a frustration which we all experience. When faced with many things worth doing and many people worth spending time on, how do we choose? How can we slice out a little time to relax, or to do things which please only ourselves, without feeling like we're stealing that time?

Here's how the chords go. For my reference as much as anyone's. XD

Am D

Bm(7fr) D
G(7fr) D
Bm(7fr) D
G (7fr) D B

F# A(5fr)
D(5fr) B

Lyrics follow.

(v)I draw the meat across the blade
look at the pretty slice I made
it's perfect for your sandwiches
one thing you never ask me is

(ch)how much is left
how much is left
how much is left
how much is left when you're gone

(v)of course of course I love to be your friend
it doesn't work if I ever pretend
I want to see God's skeleton within
the personality under your skin
though I make every single second count
I never get a different amount
I want to be a friend to myself too
but cannot bring myself to say to you

(ch)how much is left
how much is left

(br)sprinkle the blood around the roots
when will my heart be soft as soil
I salivate for life's first fruits
moments before they spoil

(ch)how much is left
how much is left
how much is left
how much is left

how much is left
how much is left
how much is left
how much is left till they're gone

Johnny the Greek

Kinda unsure about this one. Morally, rather than poetically. This is a real man, and a true story, but I would not say these things to him in person. Because they are angry things. To his credit, since I stopped speaking to him, he has not come over to my area to yammer at me. Which means, I think, that he gets that I am not speaking to him. This is an amount of consideration greater than zero.
Hopefully having written this, I've gotten my own frustrations off my chest. And I hope this guy finds a good way out of the place that he's in.

Head held up and back, till your chin
folds into your neck, chest puffed out
with every one of Alexander's victories, you wear
your ridiculous hats as if
you'd personally invented the Olympics, and received
a much-deserved reward.

"Oh god here he comes," groan the men,
but you're not even watching
"it's that creepy guy," wince the women,
though I doubt you would care, if you knew

When you speak to God he answers you, Johnny,
in the warm bemused tones of one grown accustomed
to hearing his own words spill from someone else's lips--
the favored son of a favored race, less to blame
for Christ's death than the Romans
(who after all did the crucifying)
and all who follow the church of Rome
damned in your eyes by,
let's call it

But you, Johnny, you
are guileless, guiltless from the get-go.
You recount with a face full of glee
the sins of those you say that God will not forgive
and fantasize his wrath
and it's easy for you, Johnny,
cause you've never trespassed against anyone.

You keep to public places.
Like the place I work.

I sling potato salad, and you serve
heaping spoonfuls of your wisdom
to everyone who fails
to make good their escape.

Ernest, who sits in the sun, smokes roll-ups like I do,
he's working on his GED, hitting the gym, and if he mutters
angrily to himself all day as the curb softens under his angles,
and I don't know the story of his scars,
he is my friend.

Aldona, who is sweet and takes a hint, wears purple, reads much
and wants to chat
and some of us run from the friendly, lonely, white-haired lady
with the shaggy dog stories, but she
is most definitely my friend.

Where you work, you say, it's all
chemicals and corpses and exacting
sanitation standards, and though I respect
you do an unpleasant and difficult job,
I bet cadavers listen best of all,
and never ever ever interrupt.

Upstairs in the breakroom, we have a television.
It is always on, always
at maximum volume, only gets one channel--
Cheaters, judge shows, Raymond, Lopez, King of Queens--
and I have to walk past and the sound won't stay down and I can't
turn it off,
and you are that television, Johnny

and I
have lost patience with you.
You bully all the world in self-defense.
You've made yourself an argument against.

And so, dear John, though I can't say we're friends
I know you will get all this off your chest
lay down among your perfect audience
and that will be the first day of the rest

no limits (response)

I've been having a blast over at Christian Taoism. Go read it if the name seems a little weird--or, really just go read it. All the posts are short meditative poems, and, following the lead of the other regular commenter there, responses are most often in the form of a poem. Which is the big draw for me! You all know how I love to write from prompts. So far I've resisted the impulse repost an HK Stewart poem plus my response to it here, but this, I think, is the one where I'm just too happy with the way mine turned out to keep it off my own blog. XD
My poem is both a response to HK's poem entitled no limits, and to the concept of the lack of limits.

There are
no limits,
no borders,
no boundaries,
no edges
in your
spiritual life.

still, I have to cross a ford
where I end and you begin.
I can't name till I've explored
that strange land beneath your skin.

here are places god has breathed,
like dawn's light makes mountains gold,
spilled from silhouettes, unsheathed.
here you, rapt, tremble to hold

snow-capped peaks against the blue,
wider than you now, cool, pale.
love, we know not what we do.
love, we know we must not fail.