Thursday, November 20, 2008

war and peace

Train Songs and Horse Stories

There is a train,
Clicking, clacking, whistling a song
Along tracks running through a peacful night, a quiet life,
Waking memories of the slump shouldered Quixotian nag
I once rode into a headwind turning mills,
Poised like giants guarding kingdoms
Left conquered, still burning in my wake,
Smoke stretched miles blackening skies over shoulders
And the jerkwater roads ridden to the humble of an outpost
Hidden beyond the fires left to linger below her lookout mountain
Where I have buried the quotidian battlements
Once unleashed upon enemies perched above
My Dien Bien Phu, superior in numbers and weapons,
Not though the matchstick strategies I had memorized
By candle in the dark, damp stacks of a fake book library,
The trojan horse stories tucked into fatigued pockets,
Secreted through the faux wall of worn military tomes
And into the ink black hours binding a paper moon,
Where I, armed with Sun Tzu's Art in hand, mounted my own Rocinante,
Whipping her eyes, her hind, her skin sagged ribs into a flat-out gallop
Across the mud-wallowed roads of unforgiving and forgotten years
To outflank a bloated and venal army of naysayers,
Its retreat like the inevitable refrain of a train whistle
Fading, fading, fading into a night I now sleep safe in love's arms.

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