Prose- Who is on the Train?

Who is on the Train?

As I look around the car

What do I see

The young college girl

Hunched forward bangs hanging in her face

To shield her from the eyes of others

Typing on her laptop

Another entry into her diary blog

About her breakup and her sadness from it

So eager to share everything

While at the very same time

She withdraws from the world



The old man with the simple business suit

And brown shoes that have seen better days

Reading the paper and hanging on

To days gone

By remaining dedicated

To his archaic form of news

Because it feels warm and comfortable

Of course it helps that is written

With him and his demographic in mind

Smart business move indeed



The we are not a couple couple

Both late 20’s and well dressed

And let me not forget good looking

By their clothes they are obviously corporate

They work together and are just friends

He wants much much more

But pretends to not care

As he is way too into himself

To admit he could not get her

If he really tried

She sees through his façade

And flirts casually with him

Merely for the attention

And for her own entertainment

Smiling and looking up occasionally

From her smart phone

As he puts on and then takes off

His Ray Ban aviators

Apparently undecided what the best move is



The man asleep

Or at least pretending to be

Clothes dirty and soiled

Shoe strings untied and tattered

From dragging across the ground

Hair dirty in need of a wash

He could pass for homeless

If he claimed to be

But more than likely he is not

And has just given up

On himself and tells everyone

He just does not care what people think

But that is just a defense mechanism

Which could also be a reason

For his lackΒ  of hygiene

Just a drastic way to keep others away


I casually turn my head

To the other shoulder

A soft reflection in the glass

Floats transparently on top

Of the scenery flying past

Making the thought

Cross my mind

As the car looks at me

What does it see


****I was told by a publisher that while my poetry was very good. That as a collection much of it was too similar in style, flow and format. That I needed to come out of my comfort zone and try different things. The truth is I do sometimes but always feel it is not as good. I wrote this months ago and it is far from my normal style. I hope you enjoyed it.****










83 responses to “Prose- Who is on the Train?

  1. This is wonderful, really! It was compelling. It’s always good to mix it up a bit. The rhyme and flow are on. This line, “By remaining dedicated To his archaic form of news” is killer. Good luck with your publishing endeavors!

  2. I was just thinking, “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of sound. A dimension of sight. A dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into… The Twilight Zone.” You just started an episode. That publisher is a sharp person.

  3. Love it!! I was on that train with you every step of the way. I like what you wrote about the girl and her laptop. Perhaps I can relate to that a bit. GREAT writing!

  4. I loved this! I often look at people on trains (or at airports or in the shops or in restaurants) and wonder about them. thinking the same thoughts you so eloquently expressed in this piece.

  5. Before I got to the footnote I was reading this and wondering “hey,this is not the sort of poetry that I usually read here” and now I know the reason.It certainly is out of your comfort zone,you can feel a tinge of an awkward discomfort in your lines. I LOVE your usual style,I think I have gushed about it too many times on this very blog.This is good too,although I can sense that you are not yet confident about this style.But I got to say,this too looks promising.You just need to feel more at ease πŸ™‚

    • You have said many kind things on here and thank you for being honest. I will never stop writing things in my usual style as that is true to me. But I do think I need to push myself into some places not yet covered. Hopefully that will make everything better. But don’t fear the other stuff will never go away. And besides I have a bunch of it I have not posted yet πŸ™‚

  6. This is beautiful. Just like what the others have said, I am a people watcher too and I enjoyed this one very well. I always always make comments in my head about what these people might be about and you did too and turned that wondering into Literature. Excellent! πŸ™‚

    Btw, found you through Promising Poets’ Poetry Cafe. πŸ™‚

  7. It reads like a visual, sliding to its conclusion– nicely done. As someone who grew up before internet I have a hard time appreciating the lure of the social network over actual social contact.

  8. You have captured memorable scenes in those stanzas beautifully. I would not have been able to say that this was written by someone out of the comfort zone.

  9. I do like it, Swanrose. It really seems to be a slice of life of our times. I like the ending, and have to say it was unexpected for me. All the observations and interpretations of others, and then the wondering what others see (and presumably, would think),

  10. This is really good…I liked the couple not a couple, and your observations are quite insightful. If you don’t mind me saying I think this could become much more although it is great how it stands. πŸ™‚

  11. i can relate to

    So eager to share everything
    While at the very same time
    She withdraws from the world

    stings to my core. lovely Swan πŸ™‚

  12. saw them all…used to commute by train for about two years…meant 2 hours train rides every day…5 days a week…and i loved to observe people and after a while you know them…good capture..

  13. Hello! WOW. We kind of had the same idea, I mean I had never read your blog before & never read this before doing mine. I think you might appreciate my poem (it’s much thinner) but I also have a blog entry dedicated to something similar to yours.

    You capture the observation of each person and emotion just right. I love this. I simply love this. People watching in general is just amazing sometimes…

  14. Like you I tend to have a style that I am most comfortable with, yet have been trying to spread my wings a bit lately. Really not sure yet that they will carry me… smiles.

    Thought this piece was right on with the interpretation of those aboard this journey. Spot on with today’s busy world. A little more work to smooth the transitions and it will be great!

  15. I don’t know your other work. I liked this. Bringing it back to you and changing the focus is very effective. It is a bit of prose and is not too unlike a piece I have posted on my blog – a bus ride I took in the 60s, a slice of life of its times too. You might care to look at it here:

    Reading them back to back as I just did made me realize how travel has changed. Then we didn’t travel much, and of course it was all in Texas which is a real long time point to point, and we didn’t just stare, we talked to each other …. a lot!

  16. As a people watcher this piece really spoke to me, the perspectives or all that is around us can be so inspiring, I liked the journey of this prose, bringing into a self examination at the close was perfect! ~ Rose

  17. The first thing I thought when I heard this prompt was of the many types of passengers you can observe on a long train ride. You took that first thought and made it into a descriptive piece. Also, I love the background of your blog. Cool picture πŸ™‚

  18. I love that you turned to the other shoulder. This is amazing. I’m not familiar with your style. Haven’t read you before… very glad I did now. What a gift of perceptive observation. I’m on board. =)

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