Posted by: Mark Nielsen | May 7, 2014

Mystery Train, Part Two (original poem by Mark Nielsen)

MYSTERY TRAIN, Part Two (original poem by Mark Nielsen)

Theres a reason all them strange,
sad ol’ folk songs talkabouta train…
cause a train ain’t got no choice where it’s goin’
unless it jumps the track and wrecks.

The Misery Train is a

Odetta Sings Folk Songs

Odetta Sings Folk Songs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

one way trip,
crowded, boring and bumpy
‘cause misery loves company
and company brings baggage
and baggage makes bad history
and history is a trap.
Carrying all that extra weight,
the calloused hand first requires blistering,
fatigue, defeat and a sorry state.
Humiliation. Mockery.
But the 5:15 is never late.

Justice rolls on.

Wheels roll on but you want to make a turn,
skip a stop, drop your load, maybe let it all just burn.
Disillusioned isolation has inertia all its own,
and you’re tired straight down to the marrow of your bones.
Self-protective, introspective,
and infected with perfection,
muttering vague but condemning invective.

But the mystery is that you learn, still,
despite yourself, against your will.
The train rolls on, makes all its stops,
keeps a schedule, seeks discipine,
climbs and drops,
*seeks out* valleys, eschews inaction,
every tunnel you encounter,
a death and resurrection.

You reach your destination,
but no one meets you there,
so you stay aboard awhile,
maybe say a little prayer,
and the mystery train moves on
to God only knows where.

You will know your new home only
by how you learn to love
(whether or not a target is found,
for love is engine, fuel, and station combined –
momentum and rootedness, life and hope
right down to the end of the line).

When you look out the window and hope again,
when stepping onto the platform is instinctive,
and riding on any further
is not something that you’d dare,
it is then you will know that you are there.


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