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Friday, November 18, 2011

A Good Signal Man Will Get You Through An Uncertain Pass

A Good Signal Man Will Get You Through An Uncertain Pass
for Mike Taylor

engines belching hard to make the grade in the pitch black night

wheels heating up white hot & throwing sparks out in bursts

the engineer is all throttle & faith in tons of iron & steel

as the timetables & schedules don't reckon on soulfire

churning across the greatest of divides & racing

breakneck across the prairies with howling

winds & coyotes as their main acclaim

to just get the job done & make it

home again,

as long as you can find a home in the heartland

where a home fire burns for you away from lonesome...

away from the back porch blues of lost goodbyes & hastily

closing back doors into an oblivion avenue where you are young again

just a boy becoming a man that goes off to war, out of country, in country

blazing a trail of shooting stars that fall into the sea as you stroll along

with comrades in arms & letters & words & song & wine & women & love

always the love, the woman that leaves her calling card just out of reach

just as long as you write her down into verse after verse of the momentary

lost bucket of redeemers-come-lately that want to dare to dream of that

beach back then so long ago under the venetian heavens, o praise venus

her temple erected in a borealis of non-compliant metaphors above a

simple temple of man fashioned out of driftwood yet revered as a palace

of extravagant creations hewn into figurines of tempest & temptation

kept like a sacred heart preserved for every fallen memory that graced

the brass placard covered remnants of a playground pier that was just too

precious not be the devotional point of reference for your star as it lights down

on an engineers hand through a locomotive window as he pushes up the throttle

to make it up the grade on the spade black night that is haunted by the helping

hand of the most helpful & humble of all the spirits of signalman ever passed

this way & the wheels heat up white hot & throwing sparks out in bursts

& the locomotive is gonna make it tonight, guided by your signal light

guided by the falling of it on the earth tonight, in wreckless beams

guided into the carried away songs sung by the foxhole atheists

of the road ahead, so long and wide, that will be so much more

lonesome now that the signalman is going off

to leave signals from so faraway of a place as this

faraway land of afterlife in the memory of children

who discover words left hidden in closets of eternity

reams of words speaking of life in the template of the living of it all

by this signal left behind the children will seek these words

a single flag left to follow along the ribbons of glistening rails

to get to him the throttle must be kept full & steady

the song must be sung as if the words were iron & steel

all the tons of it needed just to carry you along, a little further down this line

for Mike Taylor