Brown Trains - John L. Stanizzi

The Burial of the Dead from The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot for Ezra Pound

            Íl miglior fabbro’

            Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
            A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
            I had not thought death had undone so many.

passengers board brown trains
in brown cities
brown days-

the moon is livid ‒
its smirking grin
of fractured doubt
beneath snappish leaves

earthworms scribble
about brown menaces
on mud-engorged dirt roads
as the day simply occurs
everyone attempting
to hold tears at bay –

a fire wails ‒
its light is sure to aid
someone in need of a little brightness,
perhaps a small old woman
gathering twigs, dried and brown ‒

smoke from her fire
levitates and crackles
in cages of light

your eyes
brown in the heat
brown in the rain of long moments
are also full of the meagre glow
pulsing from behind
a massive stand of shadows
that guides passengers to brown trains
in brown cities
brown days

John L. Stanizzi is author of the full-length collections: Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, Four Bits – Fifty 50-Word Pieces, and Chants.  His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, and many others. He has read at venues all over New England, including the Mystic Arts Café, and the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. Stanizzi coordinated the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition for Young Poets at Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, CT, and is a teaching artist for the national recitation contest, Poetry Out Loud.  John’s newest ollection, Sundowning, will be out later this year with Main Street Mag.  A former New England Poet of the Year, Stanizzi teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT, and he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.