Train of Thought

Grand Central

Stranded in Grand Central Station
While a sea of humanity rolled past
Looking forever at clocks and watches
None truly knew where they were bound

On a train on a rail on a line
Destinations framed sunrise or sunset
Each one entrained to be on time
Into the hollows and hallows of life

The line that was mine had lost its fire
and the city seemed waiting in light
Chestnuts called from the scented streets
Hailing, a cab checkered yellow arrived

“Cloisters” I spoke to the hack at the wheel
“It’ll cost you” the only reply
“Fare enough” and we entered the stream
Toward the palisades home in the sky

Red light and green and West Side Drive
Flowed a river in canyons of gold
Caused a belief in the moving of mountains
and a sadness at knowing the cost

Arriving my friend asked where I’d been
and where I was going tonight in the cold
“Tomorrow” the answer was simple and sure
Stashing the bills he just smiled

The sunset was splashed like none ever seen
and the moonrise shone silver and blue
Lost in time for a moment as the city below
flowed on endlessly into its dream …


21 thoughts on “Train of Thought

      • It is based on a true story of Vedran Smajlovic who played music for 22 days, each day marking one of the victims who were killed while they were waiting for bread in a street.

      • You didn’t and I never saw it before. I’m impressed. I’ll read it straight away even though I should be working now haha 🙂 give me just a minute 🙂

      • Thank you so much for this. It deserved so much more attention… This is one of those stories which we keep in our hearts while we feel the silence of grief… While the National library was in ruins I visited it so often. The access was forbidden but here and there you could catch a little look and see those blocks where he sat. I couldn’t count down the times I sat in front of the building near to breaking down in tears. Not only that he did such an incredible thing by playing for the victims, on funerals and so on, but also by showing the sadness of the destruction of culture, literature, art, history… I reblogged it and put his picture from the library on my post, there you can see the real cellist. Thank you so much for making me remember this.

      • It broke my heart knowing what was going on, and so little we could do. I watched the winter Olympics when they were there and have wanted to visit ever since. The courage of that one man left me with so much to think and write about …

      • It is a beautiful, peaceful city now which is awaiting you… If you ever decide to go send me a message. I may be there or I may not, but I’d sure know where to send you and what you should see. The war indeed has destroyed a lot, but also left traces behind which are worth seeing, stories like this one which are worth being heard, … I can’t think that one would not come back from such a travel richer in one’s heart and mind.

  1. My dad once picked me up there from Buffalo, carrying a Stemmler bow, later smashed on a stoop in Ithaca. I worked for Linda Stone, MA a consultant CRM (cultural resource management) when they cleaned the sky there put up as drawn not as seen in the sky. “Beautifully restored but astronomically incorrect zodiac tableau.” Years ago got dropped off there, barefoot, walked to Penn, subway to Queens and the LIE, walked barefoot home from the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, with some help from my “friends”. Soon you’ll be able to shuttle between the two, and someday, the new Moynihan Station.

    • I recall the cleaning of the sky. Never understood the disconnect LI had from the rail lines. Only one bridge RR bridge in the Bronx connects LI to the continent . They used to barge freight cars from Hoboken rail yards to Brooklyn !

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