Front Porch Review
My love sounds like the far-off rumble of a
train which keeps me listening-listening with its
sudden blasts of horns, and then, and then
the rattling-rattling beast again pursues its
way across the lonely plains of Kansas heading east.
My love feels like the wind which softly ruffles-
ruffles through my hair at night as nothing else
can touch-can touch me then when all else sleeps
and hands are still and lips are dumb with sleep
And clocks still tick and tock to no one else
and crickets crick to fill the gaps of sound
till birds again awake and frogs a-croak
across the wet and waking fields
And you wake up to find me by your side
asleep as if I’d lain there all the night
and never snuck between your sheets
at 3 am; and never stayed up late
to listen to the trains
come rattling ‘cross the plains
Mark C. Watney was born and raised in South Africa and immigrated to America in 1977 when a humble peanut farmer was president. He travelled and worked for a few years in Turkey, Japan, and India before returning to the States as a high school English teacher in downtown LA. Halfway through the journey of his life he earned his PhD at the University of Texas at Dallas and has been teaching at Sterling College in Kansas since 2006. At the age of fifty-seven he began publishing a few poems in literary journals for the first time. He has also been tinkering on a loose translation of the Anglo-Saxon Psalter, and blogs regularly on Medium– currently earning about 65c an hour as a writer. He has three sons, one of which earns $100 an hour as a political blogger.
Publications since turning fifty-seven: Acumen, Dappled Things (First place, Jacques Maritain Prize for Nonfiction), Saint Katherine Review, Front Porch Review, Presence, Cider Press Review, and others.