Updated date:

The Traveling


I took a train ride a couple of days ago...the first time I've traveled the rails in years...

The wheels move in metal beneath us,

Gyrating, rhythmic, lulling,

Relentless percussions of time.

Whether stranger or friend

There is a homing, here,

In fullness and form.

Traveling the rails

We wear our stories in silent, fragile cocoons,

Swaddled safe amid the rocking sways of an iron cradle.

Anonymous fragments of life

Hurtle past and disappear into others --

Leaving here, becoming there.

Autumn's hues of daylight, earth and fire

Dazzle the eye.

Careening, plunging forward,

We thrust into a storm that rages soundless.

Giant fireflies illuminate a sky of woolen gray.

Too soon, night envelopes us.

Windows become mirrors,

Measures of distance vanish

In vibrations and shadows.

I bow my head as a nudging of sleep beckons

And wonder....

Can anyone see the beauty, the promise of us?

Arriving, lingering, departing,

We are as remnants of the rain --

Liquid stars clinging to the glass

And the dreams that lay beyond.

Ludovico Einaudi - Divenire (Becoming)

© 2019 Genna East


Genna East on July 13, 2020:

Thank you, Umesh. This was fun to write.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on July 11, 2020:

Amazing observations.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on June 02, 2020:

Thank you, Rajan. It's always a pleasure to see you.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 02, 2020:

It is amazing how you ornate words that make reading this poem such a charm. Just loved it.

Genna East on February 22, 2020:

Hello Audrey. What a delightful comment -- thank you! Riding the rails is an experience like no other in the world of travel. If people could only put their cellphones and iPads aside...

Good to see you, my friend. :-)

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on February 20, 2020:

What a lovely tribute to riding the rails! It's been a long time for me and I'm about ready for another train ride. Your poem is a perfect description, capturing the beauty and sensations waiting for us on this journey. The video is marvelous and so are you.

Thank you, my friend.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 11, 2020:

Hello Mark. Sorry I'm late in responding. Thank you for that nice comment. What people might notice or discover once they put away their cell phones and laptops...it's an interesting world -- isn't it? :-)

Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on January 05, 2020:

An amazing train ride, Genna, surreal and beautiful. There’s something about how a train feels speeding through space. You’ve captured it.

Genna East on January 04, 2020:

Thank you, Shaloo.

Shaloo Walia from India on January 02, 2020:

Beautifully penned.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on November 17, 2019:

Thank you, Lawrence. My apologies in being so late in responding. The notification email got away from me for some reason. It's a pleasure to see you.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on November 10, 2019:


Really well written.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on November 09, 2019:

Hi Chris. Thank you. That's very perceptive. The Traveling is a poem that exists on different levels, or with a duality of meaning that delves beneath the surface, so to speak. (My poetry often does.) I appreciate the visit and comments. Enjoy your weekend.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on November 09, 2019:

Hello Patricia. My sincere apologies for being so tardy in responding to your comment. This past week got away from me due to work, etc. Thank you so much for those lovely words. It's good to see you. Angels are headed to you as well. :-)

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on November 08, 2019:

Thanks for the train ride, Genna. There is so much here to take in..."Anonymous fragments of life"..."Leaving here, becoming there"..."Arriving, lingering, departing". It's a magical poem.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 04, 2019:

So well said...a tapestry of words that portray most train rides I ever took....and there were many.

"Can anyone see the beauty, the promise of us?

Arriving, lingering, departing..." Perfection. Angels are headed your way this evening ps

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on November 03, 2019:

Thank you, Matt. I've only recently discovered his music; he is a wonderful pianist and composer. I will have to listen in to his Seven Days Walking series. I appreciate your visit and comments. Happy Sunday to you.

Robert Clarke from UK on November 03, 2019:

Really lovely to read. And what a bonus to find Ludovico Einaudi at the end of the piece. I've been listening to his 'Seven Days Walking' series incessantly just recently!

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 30, 2019:

Hi Shauna. My trip was from Albany to Boston. There were a couple of hiccups along the way, but it was an interesting and enjoyable ride, nonetheless. I'm so sorry you had such problems on your southern trips. That must have been frustrating.

As I noted to Will in my comment below, my favorite train travel was cross country -- it was amazing to see the US in such a way. Thanks so much for the visit and the comments. :-)

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 30, 2019:

Wow, Genna. This is deep. You've given a romantic, dreamy persona to traveling by train.

I've taken the train twice in the past few years to visit my folks a few hundred miles south of me. Both times were very frustrating. Late arrival, late departure, stopping for an hour to "check the brake system" and arriving at my destination hours past schedule. Next time I'll have to book your train. It provides a far more enjoyable ride!

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 19, 2019:

Thank you, Nithya. I enjoyed writing this one as well. Have a fun weekend. :-)

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 18, 2019:

A train journey so beautifully expressed I enjoyed the train ride with you.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 18, 2019:

Thank you, Gypsy. I often have so little time to write...but this one just flowed, without stopping -- rather like the moving train. :-)

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on October 16, 2019:

Thank you for taking me along on this wonderful poetic train journey.

Genna East on October 14, 2019:

Thank you, Peg. It was years for me, too. I only hope I didn't over-romanticize the experience. I guess it depends on the mood, and the distance. :-) Good to see you.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on October 13, 2019:

Your poem truly brings out the mystery and magic of traveling by train. It's been many years for me but I felt myself propelled along to the rhythm of the wheels on your words.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 13, 2019:

Hi Will...

Thank you for that very generous comment. Coming from one of my favorite writers, it brings a huge smile.

You are so right about traveling by rail. I will never forget the cross-country rail trip I took years ago with my son, who was only four at the time, to join my husband in LA. It was quite an experience. We had a sleeper compartment, and would lift the shade a bit if we pulled into a town or city at night to catch a glimpse of what the other side of the tracks might tell about that community. And it is indeed amazing to see the changing vistas and landscapes -- from corner to corner, coast to coast -- in this amazing country. There is nothing like it.

Happy Sunday!

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 13, 2019:

Hello dear Maria...

So good to see you. Wonder and adventure describes traveling the rails, well. Thank you so much for that lovely comment. Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Love you. :-)

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on October 13, 2019:

Wow! Just wow!


I especially liked "Windows become mirrors".

There's just something about traveling by rail that other means of transportation can't duplicate and your poem tells it so well.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on October 13, 2019:

Dear Genna,

It's always a treat to see a notification from your corner.

Ever since I was a little girl, trains have been the vehicle for wonder and adventure.

Thank you for this beautiful and contemplative poem.

Love, Maria

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 13, 2019:

Good morning, Flourish. Thank you! And you are my kind of writer of the many ways in which music intersects with, reflects and influences our lives. :-)

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 13, 2019:

Hello Catherine. I so agree. The tracks weave like ropes throughout a continent. Traveling the rails gives us another perspective. Thank you for taking the time to read my poem, and for those kind words.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 13, 2019:

Good morning, Brenda. I recommend that everyone take at least one ride during their lifetime. It's quite an experience...especially if you leave the cities, towns and the "backyards" the tracks often lead us to and through. I appreciate your thoughtful comment. :-)

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 13, 2019:

Hi Linda. Thanks for the visit and comments. I think everyone has a different perspective on riding the rails...this one was mine, at the time. I'm pleased you enjoyed it.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 13, 2019:

Mike, your visits are always such a pleasure! You've hit the proverbial nail on the head with the train ride into the soul. I thought during the ride that train travels such as this provide the perfect backdrop to write...well, at least for a little while. There is an introspection that is almost inescapable. Thank you. Hugs and Happy Sunday. We miss your words, my dear and talented friend.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 13, 2019:

Pamela, good morning. I'm so pleased that this poem felt right for you...I wasn't sure if I was over-romanticizing the experience. Enjoy your Sunday, and thank you for the visit.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 13, 2019:

Hi Bill. Coming from one of my favorite authors, that is praise indeed. I thank you, my friend, for those encouraging words.

I've always thought that everyone has talent in different areas of creativity, whether they discover it or not. As Gray once wrote: "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air." I'm still honing my writing, in the hopes that I have discovered perhaps a little talent. I only wish I had more time to write. Happy Sunday.

I'm off to read you latest segment in your walks with Maggie. :-)

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 13, 2019:

Wow, this is really beautiful. You are my kind of poet, dear lady.

Catherine Tally from Los Angeles on October 12, 2019:

Wonderful, Genna. For those without time limits, Amtrak is a carefree and cheap way to travel around our cities and states. You've captured it and expressed it so well!

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 12, 2019:

Hi Peggy -- Thank you! Your comments reflect exactly how I felt. I appreciate your visit.

Hello Paula. What a nice thing to say...many thanks. And I couldn't agree more about airports. I cringe every time I have to go to Boston Logan; it's almost like moving to a city -- it is such a chore.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on October 12, 2019:

A nice poem. I have not been on a train...we do not have any where I live.

But you painted the picture nicely.

Good read.

Genna East (author) from Massachusetts, USA on October 12, 2019:

@Always Exploring

Thank you, Ruby. I've been feeling a little under the weather lately so your comment really lifts my spirits, and resolve to write more often. Hugs, dear friend. Enjoy your weekend!


Hi John. What an interesting experience to work for the railroad...the stories you must have! It's been years since I rode the rails; things haven't changed as much as I thought. Thanks so much for the visit and kind comments.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 12, 2019:

This is a lovely description of a train ride, Genna. The imagery is wonderful. It conjures up a very interesting vision of a journey by train.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on October 12, 2019:

Hello Genna - You brought all of us travelers with you on this train ride into the soul. We are treated to the inward view of deep thought, asking questions of the universe and listening closely for a response. Your poetic talent is powerful.

Ludovico Einaudi - Divenire is new to me, and such a fitting accompaniment to your writing.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 12, 2019:

This is a lovely poem. I took a train a few years back and your poetry felt just right. You really did a spendid job with this one.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 12, 2019:

There are some people on HP who write far too much. lol And then there are people like you who don't write nearly enough. This is a wonderfully expressive and descriptive poem, Genna. You really do have talent. I just wish we had more of your work to read.

Suzie from Carson City on October 12, 2019:

Genna....Kudos on yet another fascinating poem. I have traveled via train, a couple of times. I have to say it was quite nice but what I liked most was......avoiding airports, which I despise!! Train depots are so so tolerable! Have great week-end! Peace, Paula

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 12, 2019:

What a beautiful poem! I could almost feel the rhymic swaying of the railcar as images outside the windows swept past.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 12, 2019:

I used to work for the railways and got discounted rail travel so went everywhere by train. I loved it, and I loved this poem, Genna. Wonderful imagery and descriptions. Well done.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on October 12, 2019:

This is so very beautiful! Your thoughts soar as the train moves along. " Windows become mirrors " I could see the rain and scenery as I rode along. Miss your poetry....

Related Articles