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If You Push Through the Turnstile


I’ve enjoyed writing for many years. I'm dedicating more time to the craft in my retirement days.

If you jump over the turnstile

And avoid the fare

You can get where you’re going

The subway goes there

But if you push through the turnstile

And also don’t pay

You won’t go where they’re going

You’ll go a different way

It only works a short time

On the nine twenty-three

Which is smack dab broad daylight

When onlookers can see

I pushed through it once

And went along for this ride

I got a pretty good glimpse

Of what’s on the other side

In many different ways

The whole animated scene

Is a strong reminder

Of the Yellow Submarine

It definitely made me wonder

If Paul one day took John

Like I used to sometimes ponder

What psychedelics those dudes were on

If they saw the things I did

The hooktangers, the shrotes

They probably got inspiration

For the songs that they wrote

Arms and legs in the ground

And huge heads sticking out

One creature I saw

Had its tail in its snout

I tilted my own head sideways

Almost totally upside down

But I couldn’t comprehend it

Why didn’t that thing drown?

I mean just look at it, will ya?

It’s eating its own tail

And then the thing swallowed

And disappeared with a wail

And there was also a pop

Yes, I heard a pop, too

In much the same way

A needled balloon goes kabloo

And then it was gone

It just vanished in thin air

And I palmed my forehead

I know it was just there!

And then came a vehicle

Riding along a railed track

And on it a driver

Sitting high up on back

The driver it waved

With a thing like a hand

And I call it an it

‘Cuz it wasn’t a man

Nor was it a woman

I should also clearly say

It was very much of a gender

In its very own way

This thing, these things

Because perhaps there were two

Had one eye alone

But its noses were two

I mean I think they were noses

Could they instead have been eyes?

I guess with all the strangeness

That wouldn’t be a surprise

But then it snorted, it did

Maybe a snort and a giggle

But I knew for sure it laughed

‘Cuz it’s whole body wiggled

And then it came and it went

Just as fast as all that

And I encountered a thing

Like the famed Cheshire cat

Only in pretty short order

It was quite plain to see

It weren’t a normal cat thing

Its tails numbered three

It had big bottom row teeth

But there were none up on top

There was slimy stuff in its mouth

Like it had just eaten slop

It spit out the slop, though

And then looked me in the eye

Opened up that weird mouth thing

And said to me, “Hi.”

“Oh, hi,” I said back

With my own Cheshire cat grin

Then the critter turned on its head

And it started to spin

Round and round so quickly

That cat thing did go

Its tails spiraled outwards

It was really some show

Then quite all of a sudden

And very much to my surprise

The thing lifted like a vertibird

And headed off to the skies

And disappeared over the horizon

Long gone from my view

So I spun my own head ‘round

Looking for other things new

And what happened to me next

I can’t really explain

I was walking through the turnstile

Heading to board the next train

Did that thing not just happen?

But I saw with my own eyes!

No, it just can’t be true

That it was all myth and lies

I passed through the turnstile

Like I'd done moments before

Then looked down at my watch

And it was nine twenty-four

So you can jump o’er the turnstile

And avoid the paid fare

And you’ll get where you’re going

The train will go there

But if you want to instead

See the things that I saw

The cat with three tails

The thing in its own maw

You have to push through the turnstile

And also don’t pay

But you need to make sure

It’s the right time of day

It only works a short time

And that’s at nine-twenty three

I don’t know about you

But tomorrow that’s where I’ll be

Hope to see you there…

© 2020 greg cain


Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 15, 2020:

Jumping over and pushing through the turnstile seem like metaphors of our approach to life. Sometimes the planned destination; sometimes the wild ride. Good poetry!

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 14, 2020:

Eric - It is I who thank you for coming along for the ride. Not crazy, friend, but instead willing to suspend disbelief for a few moments and just enjoy the trip. I think that's a better way to describe it. Good week, Master Eric.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 14, 2020:

Hmm, maybe I should start taking some drugs so I don't normally see such matters. People smile when they say I am crazy. Maybe they are jealous just a bit.

Thanks for taking me on this ride.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 14, 2020:

Hahaha! Thanks, Sha. And me, too. Yellow Submarine or perhaps whatever the place is on the other side of the turnstile. I think it'd be really awesome if we could all actually go and spend a day in such a place, don't you? Certainly would a nice break from the everyday...

Happy Monday, and have a great week!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 14, 2020:

What a trip, Box! For a moment I'd forgotten we'd gone thru the turnstile. I think I'll see you on the other side at precisely nine-twenty-three. I've always wanted to take a ride on the yellow submarine!

Fun poem with an easy flow, my friend. Sometimes I wonder what psychedelics you're on! LOL I don't think I've ever met someone with an imagination such as yours. You're in a league all your own and I'm loving it!

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 14, 2020:

Flourish - perhaps that is why the poem came so freely and readily to my keyboard. Looking for a new and different habit, an escape from some other weird times we are living through. I'd never thought that it wasn't an accident... Happy Monday, and have a good week, Miss Flourish.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 14, 2020:

Liz - I'd not thought of that at all, but it does indeed have those same echoes, and the strange Alice in Wonderland feel, and as some have suggested, a sense that perhaps the author was sniffing something, imbibing in some way during creation. It isn't so, of course, but who could blame one for saying as much. It is a bit on the fantastical side.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 13, 2020:

One time is an accident, two times is the start of a habit. Sounds like that 9.23 is the place to be.

Liz Westwood from UK on September 13, 2020:

This has echoes of the platform at the station in Harry Potter. I love the escape from reality in a split second at the turnstile.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 13, 2020:

Thanks for coming along, John! Glad you enjoyed it, my friend. Also hope you had a good, safe weekend down under.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 13, 2020:

Thanks, Peggy. I think mostly sleep deprivation rather than hallucinogens. ;)

Also, it looks lik we are due to have all this smoke through Monday. It’s just awful, one of the worst smoke/fire seasons we have had in a decade.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on September 12, 2020:

What a fun trip that was....makes pushing through those turnstiles at 9.23 without paying look really attractive. I am sure the Beatles could have written a song about this too. Loved it Greg.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 12, 2020:

That was some hallucinogenic ride, or perhaps you slipped down some rabbit hole? Haha! So sorry you are getting the smoke from those fires out west. Stay safe!

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 12, 2020:

Haha! Righty-O friend Bill. Sketchy seems plausible.

We are also living inside the cigar today ourselves. Quite a mess. It came and went yesterday but looks to be here for the long haul today. Good weekend to you, as well.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 12, 2020:

Wild friggin' ride for sure. John Lennon would have loved to take that trip with you. Hell, about twenty years ago, I may have taken that trip. Details are a bit sketchy, you know?

Have a great weekend, my friend. A bit smoky here, like living inside a cigar.

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