overnite the temp dropped heavily /&maybe that’s when things start shifting


i turn my head, slowly
traffic’s peeling by, thick as machine-grease&
raindrops on my face
as if time slipping between
childhood days and–

“the battery has just 12V & we need 24” he says,
that can be solved
but we’re pressed for time
his one eye’s blind&stares beyond me
to a place i cannot see
red worker pants, black shirt,
dark curly hair

later i knock at the glass front of his shop,
hand him a box of chocolate
“thank you for your help”
“hey that’s ok, you don’t need to–“
“no” i smile “you saved our ass
they had to catch a flight at Zürich airport&–“

the traffic’s bad today, i crawl
2 meters in 10 minutes as my mobile rings
there’s nothing i can do
but stare at his dark skin
locomotive driver’s cap
above dark button eyes

he arrived once in a parcel on an island
was it Lummerland?
something along those lines
i smile

&he waves back
a band of steam on the horizon
cars honk&he nods in Luke’s direction
“he fixed a defect on the half-dragon’s volcano once”
“i know” i say
the metal of his screw-wrench red, reflecting
in the shine of taillights
love a man who knows to use his hands
i think&

“thanks again” he smiles
&i walk over to my office, wondering about his eye
the northwind whipping rainclouds
thick as elephants
across the wintersky


referring to “Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver” by Michael Ende who found their way into my business day… smiles

The prompt for mtb at dVerse today is…. write a poem where…
–         something or someone that/who is not real suddenly comes alive
–         a character from a book shows up in your poem
–         someone suddenly disappears and finds themselves in a whole new place…


28 responses to “overnite the temp dropped heavily /&maybe that’s when things start shifting

  1. Kindness and helpfulness seem to abound in your poem, which is quite in keeping with the seasonal spirit. If only all commute journeys could be so magical!

  2. What a perfect way, in your inimitable style, to marry your actual life with your literary one, as poetry, art, & imagination dance in a gorgeous tangle of legs, big feet, & light hearts. Never heard of the book, but love the immersion into it, & getting to know the mechanic. Like the lines /traffic is peeling by, thick as machine-grease&/raindrops on my face/. Damn, you are a marvelous poet.

  3. I’m curious about the story now…for a moment I thought of Hans Christian Anderson stories, or Santa..you make magic out of an ordinary happenstance in your day so well…I like the reflections of taillights in his wrench and the box of chocolates as a thank you..

  4. have not heard of that book either though the characters feel familiar…maybe it is the way you describe them…he seems interesting…and i like that you thought to thank him as well…you dont see that as much any more, sadly…

  5. Just magical, Claudia! Characters from a children’s book? I love children’s (and young adult) books too 🙂 My second son, Luke, is very handy with mechanics.

  6. reflecting in the shine of taillights
    love a man who knows how to use his hands

    Confidently knowing her man is handy with his hands gives lots of assurance. The lady of the house normally expects that! Great write Claudia!


  7. You capture a character–it is not one I knew before, but I have a sense of him now. Thanks, Claudia–a very clever prompt. I am traveling right now so don’t know what I can do. If I write it has to be just what comes! But thanks as always. k.

  8. Ah, Jim Knopf! We received a translation of this as a present from my younger son’s godmother (who has a Ph. D. in German literature and is therefore our fount of all knowledge about German books), but my children somehow never got into it. Such a shame, as it’s delightful – may have to try again!
    As for the poem, I love your sly asides and the breezy chattiness which hides a lot of mystery:
    love a man who knows to use his hands
    i think&

  9. Very fun. Great phrasing, as always!

    I first read the wiki summary of the book:
    which helped much.

    Fun story. And to see it slip into your life and your continued encounters with men is fascinating — albeit mysterious.

    BTW, I was surprised you had not read Hesse — you might prefer him in German.
    Another of my favorites is “Narcissus und Goldmund” — less idealistic than Siddhartha which was a bit more idealistic. IMHO

  10. Love the details you picking up from everywhere, even sitting in the traffic, and meeting the handyman always rewarding…so many of us become handy women…useful for life though…esp. in wilderness…. cool