Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Trainspotting, Potential for Giving Imagination its Head


The original version of today’s poem was written in 1983 and first published in 2001; it has been recently revised. True to say, it was inspired by reflection upon too many bad choices I have made throughout my life. The trick, I (eventually) discovered, is not to let them obscure our better choices.

No one needs to get high on drugs to feel the adrenalin racing through the body like an express train.

All we need to do is pause now and then to reflect upon our innermost responses to what is invariably a roller-coaster ride through life. Now, sometimes these may well be found wanting, inhibited even by home, school, environment, culture, religion…etc. In which case we may well need to find a way of letting go, following up basic instincts independent of whatever programs may have been installed in head and heart by various software programs delivered by home, school, environment, culture, religion…etc.

Oh, yes, and then what?

Ah, but that’s all part of the rollercoaster, recognizing choices and trying at least to make the right ones; the right ones for us, that is, since we are all different, want different things from life, and need to make our own decisions on how best to develop our potential for the greater good as well as our own. Too often, well-meaning people may try to steer us in another direction/ So how to know if they are right and we are wrong? 

We have only to think about what we really want from life to feel the adrenalin coursing through our veins…and catch that express train wherever it takes us if we dare.

Our choice…


I hear the engine, engine
closing on me, felt its pulse racing
against mine and see it pass,
speeding furiously against the clock
(ticks in the brain);
gone now, yet trailing
a fudge of half-forgotten moments
that rage me still;
engine throbbing, oh, but so madly
against my will…

I see the wheels, wheels
rumbling me, can feel their firings
ghost me as they pass
(like raging clocks) ticking me,
winding me up;
gone now, a maze  
of half-forgiven moments shimmering
and crazing me still…
wheels, wheels, wheels, screaming
against my will

I ride the engine, the engine
pulsing me, share its race against time;
signals blurring, half doubts
stoking up faster, faster, faster…
scattering apes from the track,
tearing pretty rhetoric off a poet’s back;
whatever passes for the soul
all but out of control while feeling
for brakes though not even sure
where it’s at or going

Oh, the thrill of giving imagination
its head…

Copyright R. N. Taber 2001; 2013

[Note: An earlier version of this poem appears in Love and Human Remains by R. N.Taber, Assembly Books 2001; 2nd (revised) e-edition in preparation.]

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