Poetry from Stephen Williams

Slow Train into Tomorrow

Passenger train through the city
crackle of wheels rolling on the tracks
dark silhouettes reflecting in the windows
flicker of passing outside lights
tooth white colors
like little candles lit

a few sleeping
escaping into fragmented dreams
most of us awake and watching
inside our humbled hulls
heavy eyes closing

remembering how it use to be
wishing it was that way again
instead of every night killing of souls
a toss up
of who's next....

Train's toot to beware
haunting those close and far away
never arriving in freedom again
if it was ever
really real

or was it only a realm of imagination
snake hanging in a tree
tongue flicking
shiney slick
red pepper taste

and then the thing strikes
a reaction blink and he's suddenly gone
quick check of your neck
for any wounds
or blood spots.

Further down across a broken highway
campfire on the edge
a getaway unattainable
hundreds stuck in a ditch
peeking over the rim

crescent moon gliding above
silver sickle
cutting through the stars
no coming sunlight
only a pale warning

we should have known
what was coming around the bend
yesterday when we were still teachable
chalk boards to computer mills
until underhandedly all truths erased.

For too many had spoons in their mouths
bug-eyed with never ending games
ignoring poverty
accepting tokens
idiot pills taken

tattoo signs
on which avenue to hang out
and not get arrested
or flushed down the gyrating hole
into a sack to the bottomless pit

common sense into bones
now prehistoric
written on walls
with massive boulders
pushed over the entrances.

Zap of electricity
tingling inside our veins
short circuiting
hiccups a welcome change of pace
a laugh here to obey there

by the latest government
pandemic sparks
snapshots of your sad self
outlawing oil and gas
like diamonds and gold are no joke

stealing trains the newest rage
black chug of smoke
robot engineers
sometimes they let us think
a few will escape....

Oceans of emotion
tidal waves coming in
and out our ears
forever hearing the great bells
ringing inside our water-logged brains

and the latest wash of news
opposite truth
and backroom lies
with an illegal tuning fork
under the president's pillow

telling how we got here
our fault
and we should pay
by tying up our tongues.

Life lines
following the train
holding on by ropes and chains
those at the end of the line
too much spit sputtering

dragging and bouncing
tearing clothes loose
boots and butts raw
memories scraped
by guilt since a child

laughing and skipping
behind the caboose
footloose dancing freak
train speeding up
for the next town of crying clowns

but there's always someone
standing on the tracks
unafraid and somehow stopping
the train with just a look
letting all who want off

for the saving path to the promised land.