The train that I took out of London seven years ago
appeared in my dream last night.
It had dinner plate wheels and hung on a chain that hoisted it up to a mailbox
where letters spread their wings to dry.

The train that I took out of London seven years ago 
only moves in one direction: away, and yet there it was,
undeparted, filling like a lung.
I have sung everything into the parish poor box--

those things I loved most, first to go.
I have sung until I am mute, and as unsentimental as an oxygen tank.
The priest cut off his ears and put them in my pocket
like coins. I told him his wish is dust, and he turned into Jericho's wall.

The train that I took out of London seven years ago
took off its clothes and reported my movements from memory.
The tracks only go in one direction: away, and yet there I was;
I woke up in love, a stone in flight, a letter with no address,

a dove that left its light down a well, yet sings in the dark when I'm gone. 


Sherry Blue Sky said…
I anticipated this poem with great pleasure.....where letters spread their wings to dry. OMG! So Good! Your two closing lines lifted up and took wing. Breathtaking. Am speechless.
angie said…
Amazing, and perfect in its repetition of 7. I like how the train took of its clothes. Be free
Susie Clevenger said…
There are so many lines to love in this. There are so many details, emotions in it. "The train that I took out of London seven years ago only moves in one direction: away, and yet there it was, undeparted, filling like a lung." I couldn't resist. Just one small part of the whole I love.
brudberg said…
I love the detailed image, and that train out of London... surrealistic like a painting of Dali... often I would dream emotions and forget details... here they are merged.

The sense of never leaving is something that I do recognize as well... though for me it's always and airport.
Mama Zen said…
"filling like a lung." Amazing.
hedgewitch said…
This has all the crazy authenticity of a dream, the surreal insertion of symbols in impossible places and ways, yet also carries the utterly real and down to earth convictions of the heart's journey, a train that never comes into any one station, but is always giving us a ride somewhere or other, willy nilly. Too many amazing lines to quote, but I especially love '..where letters spread their wings to dry..." and the final exquisite line. The ears, yes, them too.
Kerry O'Connor said…
I love the letters spreading their wings to dry... This dreamscape is surreal yet seems so tangible. I can feel the ache at the end of it, waking up in love all over again. Bitter sweet.

Lynn said…
Your dreams must be amazing if they are anything like the imagery in this poem!
. said…
This is why people fall in love and try to put their hope in magic --- they've read something like this that makes them believe the heart could be real and not just the brain playing tricks on them.

This is remarkable poetry, but you know that.

I'm particularly fond of the parts about the oxygen tank and the ears in your pocket.

I will never ride a train. I'm perfectly content to see the passengers ride away and take a little walk by myself. Vehicles (and people) scare me. It's a wonder I drive at all, really ---although it is very little.
Jim said…
I loved the train out of London that didn't get out, I am envious of this dream and would like to have one like it of my own. Have you read Dan Simmons book, "Drood"? It began with a train wreck of one that Charles Dickens was on coming into London. In helping injured passengers, Charles met the very mysterious character, Drood, who was also helping, yet claiming these people. Drood was Dickens' last novel, in progress when Dickens died. Long here, but in several ways your dream poem reminded me of this episode.
Thank you for the prompt, I enjoyed working with it.
Sioux Roslawski said…
I love this poem--not unusual for your poems and me. Each one so different in tone and topic.
Stacie Eirich said…
Your poem is so full of vivid, juxtaposed images-movement and stillness, silence & song. Love the last lines--magical. The type of dreaming I wish to capture when I wake. Thanks for sharing!

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