i walk the dark, hood pulled deep
into my face, red traffic lights
throwing ghostly shades on busy landscapes,

i lost lots on roads like this

it’s early monday morning,
pacing back and forth the rails,
an icy wind cuts in my face and with each blow
the heat, still left from bed, spills
over rubbish bins & tram announcements
until nothing’s left to keep me warm.

i check my mobile and gray clouds rush tattered
‘cross the sky, my mind starts wandering,
thinking of your brother, how he spit you
in the mouth while you were sleeping–
later loved you to salvation and how things
can change for better and for worse
quite quickly–

tram by tram fades faceless, leaving
screechy wind marks on my cheeks &
i throw coins on soppy concrete, just
to kill the time and for the metal klick,
“Heads Or tails?” i ask, then close my eyes
and smile— as if it mattered really

*Vogesenstrasse is the name of the tram stop where i wrote this yesterday..

and woohoo..it’s OpenLinkNight again and a wonderful Natasha Head will be tending the bar.. join us over at dVerse Poets pub at 3 pm EST .. let’s celebrate poetry..


67 responses to “Vogesenstrasse*

  1. Hi Claudia, lovely and evocative poem (as always.) I especially liked the third stanza beginning with Monday morning, about wind hitting cheeks and warmth from bed dissipating. And of course the good and bad–spit to salvation–is wonderfully intriguing. My only question–minor–is whether you wouldn’t want a comma after “bed”==the heat, still left from bed, spills — because I found myself really tripping over “bed spills” without it. (I kept reading it as the bed spilling something.) I know punctuation is used sparingly, and maybe you want the bed spills to be ambiguous, but the line confused me a bit at first. At any rate, thoughtful, thought-provoking–K.

  2. lots of deep thoughts on those morning walks, i have lost lots on these streets…that carries the weight of feeling for me, leading to the cold end…the flipping the coin and knowing that it does not matter what it does…as odd as it is to say i find hope in the verse on spitting in the mouth (eww) and it leading to salvation…

  3. Hi Claudia,
    time is an other one when you have to wait. On Monday I took the train for a meeting. After years without the train I had to wonder about the long time it took for the journey. Time was only crawling. But I had much time to prepare for the meeting.

  4. Make that 3 (Claudia, David and cat) … at that train station … okay? I was there too … many times … where did you people hide? At least, next time we could huddle together to keep warm … or something … Love always, cat.

  5. Wow you truly brought me right there, capturing every little detail. Are you taking stalker tips from Brian?..hahaha And Vogesenstrasse is just such fun to say.

  6. Another great write from you. Love the details….screechy wind marks on my cheeks …..the heat, still left from bed, spills…..fantastic!

  7. Like brian that simple i have lost lots stands out for me, and the other images sort of dance in and out around it, ending with the perfect ambivalent coin toss. Also theway you use both hood and wind with face here adds to the tension of the flipping sides of everything. Liked it much, Claudia.

  8. I love the ending…here I’m thinking the poem is about ordinary, mundane stuff–when it’s really making a profound statement about life.

  9. I wish I could pen with the depth you have in your words. You create such wonder in the simplest things and turn it into poetry. I aspire, Claudia. Thank you for your inspiration. As always, lovely penning.


  10. Two lines stand out in the poem and each time turn it: “I have lost lots” and “things / can change for better and for worse / quite quickly”.

    Nicely realized impression of waiting in a station.

    A suggestion: eliminate the tagged-on “as if it mattered really”. The poem will end more strongly without it.

  11. I’m studying Italian Congiuntivo with its asse, esse, isse’s so your title drew me in. But then your words kept me with their visceral images from the inexplicable of spitting in a sister’s mouth to the oh so common of lots lost on roads like this. You took me on quite a ride. I’m grateful.

  12. You capture scenes so beautifully, and this one is no exception. I especially like “i lost lots on roads like this”.

  13. A wonderful read, Claudia, but a bit chilling;
    had to put on a sweater to get to the end.
    Love the line: /tram by tram fades faceless/
    and like Brian, I snagged /i lost lots/ too.
    You have an immediacy about your language
    that hangs on to our arm like a lover, with
    a poetic amorous grip.

  14. There’s music here as well – in your words, in your images, in the sounds you make, the coins you toss. Little staccato sounds that punctuate this poem – you never fail to bring in that chorus between the lines that provide a cushion for your words to ride on. Again here in a “regular Monday” which you transform to art.
    Always taking me to another place with your poetry, Claudia. Thank you!

  15. Claudia, I love how you tell us where and when your inspiration strikes you, If someone wanted to go back, and seeing you do travel a bit, little pushpins could mark your poetic path. I love that. Really nice piece here, love the reflection throughout. Thanks

    • smiles..not 100% sure… was waiting for a group to arrive at that tram station..they were late and my mind started a poetic walk with all kinds of fragments that were hanging somewhere in my brain..

  16. Claudia, so many thoughts can come when one is waiting. It is good that you made good use of your thoughts and wrote. I tend to play games on my iPad. Nor quite so useful, but it passes the time. I understand ‘nothing is left to keep me warm.’ Lord, it has been cold here of late. I’d hate to be outside waiting. I agree that heads or tails it doesn’t matter. In the end it will all turn out the same. Another good write, Claudia. Thanks for making me reflect.

  17. My fav time is early morning and I enjoyed your take on the ordinary day. Still the coin flipping at the end is telling….minutes roll by but I do think we make decisions, little or small ones, day by day ~

  18. i just love your poetry… truly. you have a way of rippling down the page straight into my heart.
    lost lots, screechy wind marks on my cheeks. love.
    and i have a brother just like that.

  19. Claudia, you brush a picture so descriptive that I smelled the odors of tram station, and of course felt the bitterness of icy cold. Your ‘bitter cold’ drove me to a hot coffee–now in my hand–and a (crunchy) peanut butter and cheddar cheese sandwich on 8-grain bread…Ummm.

    Enjoyed especially where the “bed heat” finally ends up, in rubbish bins, and tram announcements. (And that COMMA! WOW!–grin!)

    Thanks again for your excellentness.

  20. Those deep moments alone, clinking of the coins and the cold winds brushing the cheeks, my, great moments for inspiration, Claudia! I would give anything for that. Never mind the warmth of the bed just left or the staccato tram announcements i’d still want that quiet moment alone. Thanks for sharing!


  21. So what do we gain or lose with a coin toss? There’s a sense of aimlessness hear that I think you want to capture, that sense of waiting for a train to take you some place, anywhere. I’ve been there several times, do this poem brings back that sense of place where I’ve sometimes found myself. It betokens perhaps the place we all must be at to get to where we need to go.

  22. I like the sense of fate and lack of control I think I see in this one.

    can change for better and for worse
    quite quickly–

    Foe becomes friend, evil brother somehow becomes redeemer/redeemed. aybe even the tram you are waitng for finally comes?

    So often, though, we agonize over choices that do not make any important difference in our lives. Good to know a coin toss in a cold wind on wet concrete may be just as valid a choice, that nothing really may be at stake, that often we can actually control very little. So toss the coins, hear them click, let THEM decide…

  23. Train stations always seem to underscore that life in between things, traveling from one event to another…almost a dream sequence…neither here nor there, past to present to future. And a time to think of the past, as you did…the coin..to me was a flip into the future…your destination…what will it be…”not that it matters”…interesting write.

  24. I really like this. The throwing down of the coin and realization that it doesn’t matter, either way things will work out. A very nice urban snapshot against the poem is set as well. 🙂 Really enjoyed it.

  25. As always.. I’m right there with you on that bitter platform.. feeling the ice tug.. This popped off the page:

    the heat, still left from bed, spills
    over rubbish bins & tram announcements

    Who said ‘all life is there’…? For me this is what your poetry does…

  26. Love this. Your poem had me hooked from the opening, and the ending is fantastic. I adore that photo too! My fave parts are “i lost lots on roads like this”, “the heat, still left from bed, spills
    over rubbish bins & tram announcements”, and “i throw coins on soppy concrete, just
    to kill the time and for the metal klick”. And that second to last stanza is very intriguing.

  27. nice introspection piece in the midst of mobile movement.
    I like the lines describing leaving the heat from the bed and it evaporating into cold after a period of time in wait.
    the faceless trams, icy wind cuts to the face, and the heedless indifference to Heads or Tails — how does it end.
    in aftermath, you’re not alone…I am there.

  28. Great imagery an message. Nice verification of metaphor with “i lost lots on roads like this”. Great transformation of the everyday to represent our everyday journey.

  29. On the money as always Miss C.

    I don’t know exactly why, but my mind keeps conjuring up incestuous images to this, must be the brother thing as I am definately not sure what you are referring to with that.

    • definitely not incestuous tino.. our pastor was telling this story on sunday in his sermon.. his brother hated him so much that he used to spit him into his mouth while he was asleep..then he found jesus and changed and started to treat him nicely.. so this sticked with me..thought about the story while i was waiting on the tram station..

  30. It is a wonder, Claudia…surrounded by so many, yet we are so alone.

    You capture so much with so little words, and that to me, is the essence of being a good poet.

    I stood on that station, with the wind whipping my face, feeling your words deeply.

    Lady Nyo

  31. I could feel the icy cold wind… and feel the weight of the moments of waiting for a tram or for something to happen… and where our mind goes during that time… great capture of the moments.

  32. Nice imagery here claudia.. and yeah definitely things change so instantly from good to worse,, or rather worse to good.
    I second Maureen’s suggestion , alter the end it sounds more strong without it

  33. tram by tram fades faceless, leaving
    screechy wind marks on my cheeks &
    i throw coins on soppy concrete, just
    to kill the time and for the metal klick,
    “Heads Or tails?” i ask, then close my eyes
    and smile— as if it mattered really


    visual and powerful imagery, every line is divine.