The city keeps herself green
In obvious spots no one sees.
That weed, that tree, that grass, that vine didn’t mean
To crawl beneath the parking lot
Along the old rock wall by the commuter rail track. The bees
Had to ask permission before they murmured,
Oblivous to the grinding roar of the 7:07 from Fitchburg.
Impatience brings closer each day,
Beside beetle and worm—hardly a form!—
The debt each impatient passenger will have to pay.

No weed intended to create this bucolic nook,
For eyes of commuter (focused now on a kindle book)
Only wanted a world, and wouldn’t ask for more,
The mighty sea and land have our drippings, which they store,
But here by commuter-rail wall, wrens and sparrows sing and wait
For the silence between trains—
Mine, as usual (isn’t that typical?), late.



  1. Marcus Bales said,

    May 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Commuter Line Blues

    Woke up early this morning to catch the 6:48
    Oh yeah – to get to work on time I’ve gotta catch that 6:48
    Because that train’s not only slow, it’s also often late.

    Overslept this morning, but got here at 6:43
    I didn’t shit this morning to get here at 6:43
    Tall weeds over there starting to look real good to me.

    Ain’t got no Kindle with me – just an old used paperback book
    Thank god I got no Kindle, and blank pages in this book
    People reading and sleeping – I hope no one will look.

    Who’d have thought in the city there could be this much green
    You look at the hard grey city, who’d think there’s this much green
    I feel a distant rumbling – Christ I hope nobody’s seen.

    Back up on the platform my watch says 8:08
    I’m back up on the platform, and my watch says 8:08
    Tomorrow I won’t hurry – this train is always late.

    • Nooch said,

      May 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm

      Wonderful stuff, impossible to hate—
      Reminds of the Cheever story “The Five Forty-Eight.”

  2. Bill said,

    May 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Nice work, friends. Marcus, I haven’t laughed out loud at a poem since I read yours about sneaking out a fart. Can this be sent to blues-playing friends?

  3. thomasbrady said,

    May 31, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Spring and All

    By the road to the contagious hospital
    under the surge of the blue
    mottled clouds driven from the
    northeast—a cold wind. Beyond, the
    waste of broad, muddy fields
    brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

    patches of standing water
    the scattering of tall trees

    All along the road the reddish
    purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
    stuff of bushes and small trees
    with dead, brown leaves under them
    leafless vines—

    Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
    dazed spring approaches—

    They enter the new world naked,
    cold, uncertain of all
    save that they enter. All about them
    the cold, familiar wind—

    Now the grass, tomorrow
    the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

    One by one objects are defined—
    It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

    But now the stark dignity of
    entrance—Still, the profound change
    has come upon them: rooted they
    grip down and begin to awaken

    W.C. Williams


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