In the depth of the under-world I plunge

Speak to hear the limit in my voice
Love holds no barriers
Encompassing the nature of all

Strive to reach the swaying branches
To grab hold of the acorns
Light filters through the finger-like leaves
Creating sun-blemished cone shapes
In the rustling thicket

Leap of time and of faith
Riding the subway capsule in to work
Part of the plugged generation
“Talk to Her” accompanies me
The train lunges and breaks at the stops
Dividing me and East Williamsburg
From my destination in Union Square

9 A.M.
After the huff of rush hour
I have a subway seat
From where I can watch the faces
of the beautiful people
Caught in thought, sleeping,
Listening to music,

Faces coming from everywhere
Telling many stories
Of history, of class,
Of struggle and ambition

People carry coffee
Large gym bags

They stare beyond me
At a forlorn point
Outside the moving window

It is a personal dialogue
With an inner friend

Thoughts on dishes left at home
Groceries to buy
Xmas cards to write

The feeling of lack
Insufficient time to accomplish it all

No one talks
No two people have gotten on together

The solitary passengers
Pursue their course in silence

The loneliness and absent-mindedness of their stare
Endears and incorporates me

Next to me a young African American woman
Is playing solitaire on her palm pilot

The picture is complete


3 thoughts on “In the depth of the under-world I plunge

  1. I ride the metro when I am in Washington DC on business, and some of the same thoughts developed in this poem have occurred to me when the cars were not so crammed with people. You are an urban poet, and this poem captures an essential part of urban existence. This is good work.

    • This whole series–On the train–was written when I lived in NYC a while ago. Since then I have had the experience of living more contact with nature…seen the seasons changing before me…and my life has changed forever. I will soon post more that you might find different and new…and less “urban”. Thank you!

      • I am afraid Ethel and I live in a wild place with only a little of what civilization has to offer, but I can understand how contact with nature should change the human spirit. It certainly informs and shapes who these two people living in New Mexico are. I really enjoy your poetry.

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