Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Underground

To me, the underground is where
children and old ladies cower
while the brave and foolish stand and stare
at nature's brawn and brutal power.
But, I have seen your subway trains
graffitied on my TV screen
and thought it not the least bit strange
that it's said the city's hard and mean.
For I see no glamour in the crush
of bodies pressed on every side.
I've no desire to shove and rush,
to scratch for space and be pushed aside.
Let me breathe in the middle of nowhere, instead,
and spare me the underground till I'm dead.

Hastily Added Note:  In the first lines, the underground that I'm referring to is an underground storm shelter used during a tornado.

For the "subway" prompt at dVerse

28 comments:

Charles Miller said...

Yes, no doubt, tho the immensity itself of the experience can wring spiritual insights that verge on trial and tribulation. Certainly not dark night of the soul, but akin. I might demer however on the virtues of nowhere, having driven to Roswell NM, which is my definition of nowhere. That's a hellish sort of experience itself. :)

Your poem is marvelous. Its sense of proportion and directness always refreshing.

Brian Miller said...

nice...saving the underground for when you are dead...i find it fascinating though...the middle of no where def has its merits...a corn field in the midwest gold in the breeze...i could be there just as well...

Claudia said...

smiles...riding the underground in a coffin might be an experience as well...

zongrik said...

wellll...you really don't like the subway, i can see. i'm sorry you can't see the positive aspects.


alive on subway senryu

zongrik said...

wellll...you really don't like the subway, i can see. i'm sorry you can't see the positive aspects.


alive on subway senryu

hedgewitch said...

I am completely and totally with you on every level here, MZ--and an excellent piece, regardless--but I hate subways, more than most parts of cities, which I hate generally. The only kind of underground I like is velvet, like these words. (Glad to see you're okay, too, after a blustery weekend.)

Sylvia K said...

No one says it better, MZ! I don't mind the underground, but that's probably because I don't have to take it too often here in Seattle. I, too, am glad you survived the miserable storms in Oklahoma! Scary weather indeed!! Stay safe and have a good start to your week!

Kerry O'Connor said...

God, you know how to decimate in the final lines of a poem. Woosh!

Fred Rutherford said...

MZ, I love the different approach to the prompt. Definitely a bite here, really like that a lot, and the final lines are strong. Great read. thanks

Fireblossom said...

In Detroit, there is no subway. However, those who find themselves there sometimes blink, and start digging frantically with their hands in the empty lots, going "let me out!" or just "Eeeeeeeee!"

Myrna R. said...

I rode the subway in N.Y. for so many years - not by choice. If I wanted to get to school or work, that was the best transportation available. But luckily now, I live in New Mexico, and the middle of nowhere is fine with me. I don't want to return to the underground even when I'm dead.

I loved your poem, it expresses just how I feel about the subway.

Sioux said...

"scratch for space." So simple yet such a wonderful phrase.

Mama may need shoes (you) but THIS mama needs a modicum of your talent... ;)

manicddaily said...

Hi Mama Zen--I don't mind the subway so much but don't think I'd care to be in a tornado shelter, so to each their own I guess.

The thing to keep in mind about urban subway is that it is better than sitting in traffic! Also kind of an amazing way to rub shoulders with the world. But the main best thing about the subway is the fact that you have to walk to and from it. I miss all the walking when away from NYC. Of course, I walk anyway, but it tends to be more recreational. In the City, there's just no choice. K.

(Ps- like the poem nonetheless!)

poemsofhateandhope said...

Save the underground for when I'm dead- maybe a double meaning here? In that you not really want to go into a tornado shelter when your playing as a kid- as an adult you only want to go in there because you absolutely have to -because your life depends on it. But- i totally agree- give me the countryside and the blue skies and the storms f the sweat and stink of the underground any time!

pandamoniumcat said...

With you there... Love it!!!

Ginny Brannan said...

Sounds like you are more "mid-west" than "city." I, too, am a country girl at heart, born and raised in VT. The typical tourist my first few times riding the subway in NYC. There is a certain excitement that pulses through the city, certainly an interesting place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there!
I loved your poem, the contrast of "undergrounds." The rhyme and meter flows very well. Nicely penned!

Mary said...

I love the underground...spare you the underground until you are dead! I like the different ways you used 'underground' in this poem.

Heaven said...

Now that is an intriguing thought ~

Creative use of underground ~

reality imagine said...

Good image. It plucked one of my inner cords.

Dave King said...

I've seen people on the underground who looked dead. And I've seen them with all kinds of unlikely objects. Maybe you have, too? Excellent write.

Laurie Kolp said...

I like your take on the prompt a lot... and I feel the same.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

I like the underground and the subway especially. Kind of like a dirty, sticky baptism and rebirth into a smoggy, graffiti-ed world. Sign me up! Great poem, lady!

ab said...

"spare me the underground till I'm dead" -- that last line is killer ;)

You've captured every reason why I no longer reside in or near a city.

Susie Clevenger said...

I live too close to a major city..I grew up in the middle of nowhere and I miss it at times...I am not a fan of being underground either...great piece!!

Margaret said...

The Lincoln tunnel just about did me in!! The windows were open (no air condition on the bus) and I was pregnant... not a good mix.

happygirl said...

so many layer. or, this one is so deep. or, taking the 7 train. or...
good one. :)

Lydia said...

Your unique take on this Subway prompt has me shaking my head in wonder. Do you realize how you are growing week-by-week into a notable poet? :)

unsungpoet said...

I rode the subway in San Francisco for years, and you described it to the tee!...