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Friday, 24 May 2013

The train is leaving
Tribute to Penelope Shuttle
A Glosa*

Samuel Peralta at dVerse Poets sets the challenge of composing a Glosa. (Details at bottom of page.)


The train is leaving has left
that I haven't boarded,
the journey is beginning
that I haven't begun.
        Penelope Shuttle

Other travellers and trippers
push past me, launch themselves
on their great journeys. I,
on the other hand, am a fixed point,
their North Star by which they check
their headings. Stationary time has heft
and gravitas; it's travelling
that lightens loads. I see them go
to states of mind of which I am bereft.
My train is leaving, has left.

Wait! Even in my stationary state
the world around me changes.
Exotic costumes jostle me,
the tang of unseen spaces flow,
and from luggage labels palm trees grow.
Hotels I'd never have afforded
stretch out their corridors like arms to me.
I'll book a room with a sea view!
Not all the scrap book scenes I've hoarded
went with the train I haven't boarded!

Picked up now by a sudden crush
and wafted through the barrier,
I'm taken to a small lagoon.
Grass-skirted girls with bamboo pipes
welcome me with flowers and tunes.
I cannot help the fact I'm grinning;
sunbathing here on pure white sands,
smug now, knowing that my world is good --
and furthermore, no longer spinning...
Ha! The journey is beginning!

Coming from my reverie
with six hard hats surrounding me:
The area from here to there...
(They're pointing... vaguely... in the air...)
is private land. Industrial --
A work place, see? And not for fun!

The dream is shattered. Nothing left
of what I'd thought my great escape.
My dream is back, beyond square one --
the dream I haven't begun.


The poem The Train is Leaving is in the current edition of Poetry London, and so, I imagine, a new poem. I have not been able to find it on the internet, but if you are more successful, I would appreciate a word to that effect.

*Samuel Peralta writes:- The glosa is a form of poetry from the late 14th century and was popular in the Spanish court.

The introduction, the cabeza, is a quatrain quoting a well-known poem or poet.

The second part is the glosa proper, expanding on the theme of the cabeza, consisting of four ten-line stanzas, with the lines of the cabeza used to conclude each stanza.

Lines six and nine must rhyme with the borrowed tenth.
For further info' follow my link to the dVerse Poets web page.

26 comments:

kaykuala said...

A dream journey can remain a dream. A dream can turn out to be a reality just so! Wonderful write Dave!

Hank

Björn said...

This was great, I just read from line to line and the lined from the original poem blended in beautifully...

and how quickly dreams shatter, I feel missed opportunities, just like in the original quatrain.

Wonderful / Björn

Brian Miller said...

nice....great choice on the cabeza...and what a fun journey...until the dream crashes and they are taken away by industry or...interesting bit of commentary in that last stanza there dave...keep dreaming man...there are always new dreams to chase and they cant take all of them...smile.s.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Oh well done Dave.

I don't know - do dreams keep us from the harsh realities of life and keep us sane?

In my case I think they do...

Anna :o]

Laurie Kolp said...

Sounds like my kind of dream... also made me think of Fantasy Island. LOL.

Mary said...

Dave, this is excellent. The lines from the poem work in so well with yours, and yours is written so well from those lines. A person has to keep dreaming...it is nice to see those grass-skirted persons even if it is only in one's dreams, and even if eventually the dreams are interrupted. Dream on...always.

Heaven said...

Love the journey here Dave ~ I can imagine the hustling and luggage and the exotic beach ~ Alas, such dreams are all for naught, back to reality now ~ Enjoyed this one ~

lindamanning said...

I fell instantly into the dream of this poem. Wonderful!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Like the poem The Train is Leaving. Super!

Wolfsrosebud said...

AH, the journey of the mind and its disappointments.

Claudia said...

even in my stationary state the world around me changes... true that...no matter if we travel or stay, things change - not always the way we like - but there are always new trains to board and with each a new chance..a good metaphor for life

Optimistic Existentialist said...

LOL Laurie's comment about Fantasy Island made me chuckle.

Glenn Buttkus said...

I should ride more trains. Your poetics has reawakened my old hunger for the song of the rails; excellent use of the form, and the four glosa stanzas were both fun and dusted with the magic of your perceptions; thanks.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

A great work David, I can't but hear Eliot after it:
"Footsteps echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened..."

Elephant's Child said...

Thanks Dave. My sanity is tied to my dreams, and I loved this. And I loved the fact that despite the shattering of the dream it is still there, ready to be begun again. And again.

Vanessa V Kilmer said...

After reading the definition of the poems construction I thought this was so hard. Your poem made it seem effortless.

Rowan Taw said...

You've taken the quatrain and fleshed it out into a full tale of dreams and journeys. Nicely done : )

S.E.Ingraham said...

This is very fine Dave, and a different take on anything else I've read during this glosa challenge...it has everything, it's dreamy and fun and moves along easily and well right up until dreams get smashed...really a well done piece.

http://thepoet-tree-house.blogspot.ca/2013/05/table-for-four.html

RMP said...

a fun an exciting trip; I was sad to see it fade away with reality. I suppose it was a good thing to be wearing a hard hat as the train came crashing to a halt.

anotherwanderingsoul said...

oh i love how you managed to give the four 'borrowed' lines a totally different ring...
wonderful work, whenever i visit, your words sing to me - so full of life.

Dave King said...

Another crop of reassuring comments. The subject dreams can tempt us to lower our critical guard, I think -- after all, "anything goes"! Well, maybe not. Jonathan Miller has written about dreams how their essential element is dislocation. Ordinary locations follow each other without locomotion. The emphasis here being on the "ordinary". I have found his ideas very convincing. I also think that maybe dreams plough their own furrows in our minds and thereafter loyally follow those furrows.

Ygraine said...

I love dreams (well, the better ones that is!)for the way they range from the absurd to the totally commonplace.
You have captured their nature perfectly here, Dave...and the disappointment when the pleasant ones abruptly end!!

Semaphore said...

From the cabeza to the glosa proper, this is a paean to opportunities lost and destinies unfulfilled. I admire your use of detailed imagery to contrast the idealized world of Eden with the dashed hopes in the hard-hatted industrial world. A wry commentary, a perfect glosa.

Lydia said...

This is going in my computer file titled: "Writings by Others," as it totally resonated with me. I understand the dream and the reality, but there is richness here beyond any of that. I loved your glosa, Dave.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Loved your story, and the apparent ease and adeptness with which you created your glosa.

Leovi said...

I like the gloss and invisible spaces journey!