i hear the train in clear nights in my bed

“i’m loaded with thick clouds of rain” says its
metal scented lips, high voltage

&the wind whisks
over half-closed blinds

in the distance barks a dog

&bats fly
round the streetlamp
right in front my window

it’s still hot

“tell me” i plead

“the stories of each passenger that rides you
half-asleep to Amsterdam–
heads sunk on the chest as
landscape fragments cLakClacKcLakClak by”

“i am almost noiseless” says the train
“oh, it’s the wind–
if it heads in my direction i can hear you”

&he nods// bows// just enough to fit
under the bridge
my newest painting,
leaning against the wall yawns
silently in the next room,
stretches limbs
against the wooden frame

“pssshhh” i say “it’s almost midnite”

&a balmy breeze blows
travel songs across a thirsty landscape


we’re writing trains at dVerse


30 responses to “CNL40478

  1. The sounds of trains engenders so many stories of those who watch and those who ride…perhaps why they survive as dinosaurs in an ever changing society.

  2. Since moving to France, I’ve fallen in love with traveling by train. With all this heat, it might be just the ticket! Loved the poem Claudia.

  3. I love trains and have done so since growing up beside railway line, sounds of trains at night working in the yards lulled me to sleep. This is a beautiful poem around that theme, delighted I stopped by and had the time to read this, many thanks, Kevin

  4. I too grew up listening to the trains at night when I was growing up so this brought back a bit of the magic of their lullaby as well. They always but me to sleep, which is ironic for how loud they can be. Of course you make everything come alive, like beauty and the beast. and all those passengers – all those stories, moving in the same direction for this brief moment of time.

  5. Love how you magnify the feeling of hearing a train in the distance. The picture you pain in words is perfect and trigors a memory I’d forgotten. Lovely writing Claudia.

  6. Trains, trains, damn, a living legacy for all of us; lots more train travel here in the 50’s & 60’s, but except for the commuter traffic in the big cities, most folks just prefer driving their own vehicle. Europe & Asia are a different story for sure. I like your lines /”I’m loaded with thick clouds of rain,” says the/metal scented lips/.

  7. Love this one Claudia! I, too, can hear the trains down by the waterfront and although not really close they sound as though they are right by my house as their sound is carried on the breeze. I feel for you in the heat as we have had long stretches of it here. Take care. 🙂

  8. I love the metal-scented lips. And these lines:

    “landscape fragments cLakClacKcLakClak by”

    ““i am almost noiseless” says the train
    “oh, it’s the wind–
    if it heads in my direction i can hear you”

    &he nods// bows// just enough to fit
    under the bridge”

    “&a balmy breeze blows
    travel songs across a thirsty landscape”

    A gorgeous artist like you? There’s no way the wind will ever stop whispering in your ear.

  9. And this poem of yours is an amazing painting in and of itself. Thinking of the people moving through the night and their stories, hearing the train, your painting yawning in the next room, bats flying around the lights….this is just a marvelous poem of the night and the different world that exists at night.

  10. Like Kevin says, I grew up within earshot of the main railway line, where the (sadly much diminished) Orient Express and Balt Orient Express used to pass. I would dream of faraway places and strange tales – total wanderlust! You capture that romantic yearning so perfectly, it really brought back those hot nights with open windows, balmy breeze from foreign lands…

  11. There is something really surreal, I think, about being able to hear the train whistles from one’s bed, I think. One can imagine everyone’s stories…connected just for a little while by the clack, clack, clack of the train!!

  12. I admire the conversation with the train Claudia ~ I would to listen to those stories of each passenger; my own train rides have been my source of poetry lately ~

  13. It’s “the stories of each passenger that rides you to Amsterdam” that is so captivating to me….all those stories, jammed together in one space for one ride, all those intricacies of life so close but barely touching. Powerful telling of what it’s like to travel by train, Claudia!

  14. Love your perfect ending, Claudia: “&a balmy breeze blows travel songs across a thirsty landscape.” Sometimes at night, depending on breeze, I can hear train’s horn from track 5 miles away…and it’s probably my son as the engineer!

  15. The voice trains restrain refrains
    of yesterday’s ways.. where folks
    will spend life stories.. instead
    of iPhone ways.. so sad
    it is to lose the
    train connection
    of life.. but hives
    of tracks abound
    above.. online

  16. I live a mile away from the train tracks, so I hear them clear as day. This really takes me back to being a kid who slept with his window open to hear that horn. The breeze was over my head, bcus my bed was under the window and my mom come and close it because she didn’t want me to catch a cold…

  17. I like that you gave the train a voice. I feel like trains are alive, and having a conversation with them, I would have a lot of questions too, they have a lot to tell of people and places, and their own relationship with nature.