85 Haiku from the road to and from FenCon in Dallas

me and mosquitoes
humid air, faint breeze whispers
chirping fucking birds

lobby waiting game
strangers making friendly sounds
television drones

bathroom wall tagging
unintelligible script
swooping curling joy

I carry four bags
three heavy sons-o’-bitches
one light little case

train rumbles, grumbles
soothing reverberations
cheap fares, bus on rails

crossing frustration
it’s so nice to be stopped for
no impatient wait

train horn moans lonely
just passing through, wave goodbye
skip over hellos

colts frisk together,
ignoring great metal beast,
beauties on four legs

tree lines and fence posts
horizon-deep parallels
furrows draw the eyes

dust-covered quarry
acres of evacuation
scrape the landscape bare

‘sheol’ graffiti
culture among autographs
thought amidst vanity

a stop in Taylor
letting off and taking on
parked in town’s ass end

noon – club car opens
cannot wait: nuked donut holes
Mountain Dew on ice

backlit cloud armies
dark hearts arrayed for battle
weather on the move

hay rolls fill the fields
collapsed sheds, punctuation
farm sentence structure

tiny would-be towns
empty storefronts on Main Street
prosperity ghosts

going forward? Ease.
Coming back? A ship at sea,
motion sickness fun

sleeping passengers
noisy neighbors speaking code
shared vision shorthand

standing sentinel
wooden pole power lines lean
drunkards on duty

gleaming grain silos
silver shrines of hopefulness
soon rusted, empty

bright solar panels
sun farm on overcast day
contemplating rain

stop: Temple, Texas
pleasant park, ten minute break
smokers dive for doors

old engine, caboose
just sidelined display pieces
yearn to run again

tablets and smart phones
electronic wonderland
old school haiku poet

railroading restrooms
sit, stand: hold yourself steady
while swaying, bouncing

rolling through deep cuts
geological sideshow
layers of history

train-wide announcements
audio cuts in and out
routine comedy

even though bus-like
civilized way to travel
rough on penmanship

expensive burger
angus beef good – not Great
okay kettle chips

railroad fine dining
not a phrase you hear often
and for good reason

shade from single tree
bovines on every dark inch
cattle corner lounge

a cherry relic
deep red metallic paint job
kept with loving care

McGregor, Texas
pretty little hole-in-road
two off and none on

aquatic E.T.s
rotary irrigation
rutted crop circles

ten bone dry creek beds
thirty minutes of travel
signs read “Pray For Rain”

motionless windmills
weather vanes perch idly
leaves, branches, trees – still

cross out in a field
untreated wood, soon to warp
like Messiah’s words

shapes in shifting clouds
strange forms in passing treetops
imagination

bladed plows, threshers
farm equipment armory
John Deere divisions

horses, cattle… dull
BURROS! Now that’s excitement!
Scenic donkey herd

deer stand invaders
like alien war machines
The War On Bambi

a stop in Cleburne
quaint old courthouse on the square
churches surrounding

old machinery
dense undergrowth enshrouding
ancient mysteries

small track-side pastures
sheep graze in cattle country
someone get a rope

leafy green woodlands
trash burning sites – leprosy.
Scarred by rutted roads

subdivision streets
harsh black branches without leaves
suburban desert

vacant factories
industrial wasteland blight
metal insect husks

countless earth-tone homes
regimented treeless hell
perfect plastic life

foil on the windows
paranoia safe within
victim in the shed

urban poverty
backyard junkyards, now with dogs!
Fences like prisons

a one hole golf course
a putting green in truth
proud ‘country club’ man

much more construction
widen, expand, domain wars
your land? City’s land.

God’s penis envy
with needle-like Christian spike
our dick is Gothic

endless Fort Worth stop
love the town and hate the wait
now? Moving backward

coughing plague victim
cover his mouth? Oh Hell no
asshole lives to share

chain-link fence, barbed wire
security cameras
gasp! Picnic table!

New track, on we go
hopefully we’re Dallas bound
love this train, but tired

one locomotive
all these train cars and people
that’s diesel power

industrial park
two warehouses had babies
acres of children

hilltop, grand building
Statehouse? Cathedral? Mansion?
ITT Tech School

lone big rig trailer
used condom, consumer cock
alas, all fucked out

just rolling along
past Six Flags Over Texas
on through Arlington

piles of track supplies
railroad ties like burnt matchsticks
red steel Lincoln Logs

identical trucks
parked in cross-hatched pattern
white conformity

grizzled hairy ears
old man, furry everywhere
clipper compulsion

an auto graveyard
above ground, carefully stacked
Paris catacombs

brick smokestack towers
no more belching smoke at God
envious of stars

Reunion Tower
the Dallas Dandelion
Amtrak delivers

history – Grassy Knoll
School Book Depository
Lee Harvey ain’t there

a busy woman
a covered baby carriage
imagine terror

elegant building
guards and fences and warnings
plywood on windows

Central Distressway
DART Red Line cruises serene
long tunnel delights

cold chill down my spine
passenger reads her “Twilight”
I restrain myself

back into the light
a miracle of transport
I love this damn train

she’s turning pages
her eyes moving back and forth
her brain cells expiring

my old stomping grounds
stops? Familiar street names
Dallas has moved on

blue cloth in treetop
lover’s scarf or victim’s sleeve
mysteries en passant

feel my home’s nearness
dogs convinced i’m gone for good
barky reunion

Coda

such fond memories
lying in bed, listening to trains
grandpa – engineer

magical steel rails
romantic railroad fables
often ugly truth

hard work, dangerous
no glamor in unsafe speeds
tracks in poor repair

too many derails
old men jumping for their lives
MKT at fault

Granddaddy retired
no more ‘throw brake and pray’ wrecks
time for “Honey-Do”

finding lost drawings
Granddaddy’s Wild West railroad
childhood memories

for all my life
trains linked with my grandfather
steel-hard affection

so, there ya go. there are, in a very few, some artistic license taken, the “foil-covered windows” one comes to mind, but for the most part, just what i saw, just what i felt.

listening to: dawgs at the water bowl
mood: content

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