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Cape Cod, United States
__I see with young eyes, an old mirror. Here, I hope to offer... as I see.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Subway Hero

Departure number 3:
__I wandered off into another [more wordy] realm; friends, I hope you like this glut of words, sincerly, _m

I had been there many times before,
And shrank in the clash of it all;
Breathing in the smells and sights...
Of this cavern, this grimy hall.

The stench of countless, rushing trains,
Burned rubber and electric sweat;
Pulsing through this living cell...
In foulest, dust beset.

Above the grinding , toneless clatter,
A lowley voice was heard;
Cutting through the screeching din...
Saying but, a single word.

"Repent." did cough and blubber through,
His spirit sodden lips;
A broken, beaten, filthy beast...
That spat through lathered drips.

"Repent," he wheezed, and again that word,
Echoed within this oily hall;
And every step he took my way...
Spurred my memory's crawl.

"Repent," he neighed as he reached my stand,
Whiskey bleeding from each eye;
He caught my gaze, then hid his face...
And spewed his crippled sigh.

"Repent," he mumbled, then spilled away,
Wretched, reeking and worn;
Sliding off in greasy steps...
He vanished in his scorn.

Stunned, I followed those sodden eyes,
For what was there was known;
And I listened for his single word...
"Repent," this drunkard's droan.

I searched and scratched through noise and filth,
To find his wasted soul;
I rummaged every crack and den...
And every wretched hole.

I found my kin, in that muck and lice,
Curled in his fetal ball;
And I prayed he seemed again to me...
As he did when, I was small.

He waved me off, and spat out words,
Preaching, I was in err;
That I should turn, and step away...
And leave him to his lair.

"Not a brother," he said, was he to me,
Don't sorrow for my fall;
Go you back, to your life of ease...
I'm no brother, after all.

Go quickly to your wife and young,
And leave me to my cave;
A rotting soul I am, you've seen...
Just searching for my grave."

Against my will, I honored his,
Stealing courage, I stepped my length;
And I heard his anxious and whispered plea...
"Brother, please leave with me your strength."
I've returned, uncountable times,
To this subway's sour gloom;
To search for he, within his beast...
Before he found his tomb.

But not the word, nor the sight I'd see,
Within this cavern's sore;
Of brother, or beast, or broken man...
That drunkard's soul once more.

Then one day, in horror's grasp. "Repent,"
I heard, as I spun about;
To the light of my brother's eyes...
This beast he had cast out!

"When last we met," his shining words,
"You gave as I did plea;
You took your leave, but left your strength...
And with it, I burst free.

This was my grave, this subway vault,
And hope in your leaving fell;
To the strength you left as you stepped away...
Your faith has fought my spell.

I pass your faith in fearless fight,
To my brothers barrowed near;
That they may broach their hollow hell...
And slay the beasts they fear!"
When I return to this evil place,
To search within its reek;
I listen for his single word, his hymn...
Is the sound I seek.

"Repent," burns through that mortal clamor,
And with this messaged call;
My brother is again to me...
The Hero, when I was small.


Devika said...

many people, in many different ways, make us feel so small...It was great reading this, Magyar :)


Devika said...

i was reading it again, Magyar -- since "repent" is the central word -- and you say: "When I return to this evil place,
To search within its reek;"

I am no one to say -- but a belief that whatever happens, happens for the good (Its again from Gita) gives a solace, i guess , Magyar :)


TALON said...

"this glut of words" - oh, but that you wrote a glut everyday! This was wonderful, Doug. It had such balance and rhythm and beautiful flow and the subject matter - handled so beautifully. All the power in the word "repent" - expressed wonderfully. The last stanza - it nearly broke my heart. Just beautiful.

I betcha can't tell I loved it! :)

John said...

Wow i love your blog its awesome nice colors you must have did hard work on

your blog. Keep up the good work. Thanks

Lorraine said...

Heavens, WOW Doug this is wonderful, shivers and happiness and hope and tears, I am in awe of your writing

BB said...

Burned rubber and electric sweat........Brilliant,i won´t forget this.
Great poem m,you are indeed a StoryTeller.

Long words
Often seek their path
There is no narrow distance
Between stations.
The railroad is long
I cherish the distance
From these
Long words_BB

Anonymous said...

Wow is all I can say! You had me there, feeling the place myself. Obviously, words from the heart.

Ralf Bröker said...

To carry around a whole life is a hard job. As a young one, you might be strong enough. As an old one you've got enough experience. But those who can't run the race and those who see that everybody is running remind us what we live for: to make this world a iota better than before. Great hymn, _m.

Best wishes

John McDonald said...

wonderful wonderful work

Magyar said...

My friends, I thank you all!
__This was written 10 years ago... fiction inspired by a real incedent... seen at the "Park Street Station", Boston.
__John's recent -homeless man at the park bench- returned this to my memory. _m

Frank said...

An evocative poem, Magyar with a wonderful rhythm throughout...

Janice Thomson said...

I'll listen to your "glut of words" anytime M - this was fantastic. What a story you told.
Excellent flow of words with the repetition of the word "repent" keeping the reader's attention throughout.