Saturday, September 17, 2011

Estimated Time of Arrival

By Joseph Hesch

Today I realized that I've burned
so much time here looking
up and down the tracks
in hopes that the train will pull in
with a whoosh and take me
where I always suspected
I was supposed to go.
Maybe too late,
I realized my point of view
here on the platform was
seriously askew.
Searching that direction was always
looking back -- toward the Past --
when what I really needed
was to hook up with
an engine full of forward,
the opposite aspect,
headed toward the Future.
But looking up-track was equally fruitless.
Nothing ever comes from that direction.
So now I look straight ahead,
counting on my newly reopened senses
to signal if my Sunshine Limited
finally is coming this way.
There’s always the chance I may have
already missed it, or I could still miss it.
But, at my age, I’m just going to have to
feel for it and then make the leap -–
blindly jumping aboard Life.
Or maybe under it.

My friend Claudia Schoenfeld has posed a poetry prompt at dVerse Poets Pub for the Saturday Poetics feature. She asked us to pen a poem about trains. Here's my quick draft of a poem about looking up and down the tracks of Life.


  1. " realized my point of view
    here on the platform was
    seriously askew."

    yeah, that is what it's like waiting. so much time to think, the scenery changing every second both on and off the train. the view from various levels so different.

  2. looking straight ahead is the best direction to look i guess...and there may be much more sunshine than one would dream...? and my most fav line in here is..blindly jumping aboard life...yes and yes and yes

  3. ha...getting on is not as hard as getting off...just saying...but moving forward over moving back i think you def have a much better chance of catching it...

  4. I know what you mean... too much morbid reflection of the past, fear of the future. Now is the time. Hop on board and shine.


  5. Not under it - that's not a choice - but on it or not - and you should make the leap for "on it." Good poem (and one I empathize with).

  6. Know the feeling, Joe, know the feeling. I'm relying on blind luck, myself.

  7. it's a board you jumping just by writing and being creative....

  8. I want to jump, both hands and feet on that train.

    I enjoy the reflective words, I feel the pain of regret, and anxiety on missing that ride. But looking ahead is the best.. not blindly but with open eyes.. I want to leap....and see how far I can go ~

  9. A wonderfully "in the moment" view of life, still waiting, but waiting with purpose. (Just make sure that when it comes you have "a ticket to ride").
    Very enjoyable. Gay

  10. The gift of present, wonderfully expressed Joe ~ Rose

  11. Great read...I love the idea of 'hooking up to the engine of forward'. Wisdom with a wry smile.

  12. on board or under it - what a leap of Faith we are called to make in life! but like someone once told me: if I have one foot in yesterday and the other in tomorrow, I am most likely pissing on today :)

  13. Oh, I do hate the time I've wasted looking back. The temptation is not in wasting anymore of time doing it again. It is enticing sometimes to think of ways to re-write the past. Maybe that's why some of us end up writing. It's a chance to re-create our own stories :)

  14. There are able shifts here - past, future, present - I like the comment that in writing this piece you are embracing the train, you're a fellow traveler.

  15. an engine full of forward....
    yes, Joe, yes. Don't look back, clackity clack.
    I liked this.

  16. Was reading on down your blog and when I got to this one had to smile. I'm working on a piece similar... in theme not style to this right now. The last line is similar to this. Needless to say I identify.