From Last Train Home

The following poems, including one rengay written with Jacquie Pearce, appeared in Jacquie’s train haiku anthology,
Last Train Home (Vancouver, British Columbia: Pondhawk Press, 2021; available on Amazon). All poems were previously published, as indicated at the end, together with notes saying when and where each poem was written (several of them in Japan, where I’ve had more frequent and more recent experience with trains). See a review of this book by Joanne Morcom.

commuter train—
         that girl again
reading another romance

                futons over the railing—
                the clacking of the train
                splitting winter air

Another Country                                         +

autumn night
the train whistle
enters my dream                                                          Jacquie

        first frost
        sparkling the tracks                                              Michael

ticket for one
a few yellow leaves
left on the platform                                                      Jacquie

bare branches—
a child’s wave
from the dining car                                                       Michael

        a gust of wind
        through the railroad crossing                           Jacquie

graffiti on a freight train
from another country . . .
harvest moon                                                                 Michael


distant train . . .
in the morning mist
the loon stops paddling

                Mt. Fuji’s shadow—
                a dusting of snow
                on the bullet-train tracks

warm December sun—
the commuter train’s empty hand rings
sway around the corner

                distant train sound—
                ink from the lost cat poster
                runs in the rain

waiting waiting the train with no caboose

Publication Credits and Notes

“commuter train” appeared in Voices and Echoes: Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2001, New York: Haiku Society of America, 2001, page 110, and in Simply Haiku 6:4, November 2008. Originally written 26 February 1999 in Foster City, California.       +

“futons” appeared on the Asahi Haikuist Network website on 8 January 2003. Originally written 22 December 2000 near Minokamo, Japan.

“Another Country” with Jacquie Pearce 
appeared in in Blithe Spirit 28:3, August 2018, page 37. My verses all originally written 23 November 2017 in Sammamish, Washington.

“distant train” appeared in
Snapshots #7, 2000 [actually published March 2001], page 11. Originally written 12 September 1996 in Foster City, California.

“Mt. Fuji’s shadow” appeared in
Clover: A Literary Rag #9, Summer 2015, page 180, as the twelfth verse in my sequence, “The Mended Shoji.” Originally written 8 January 2001 in Minokamo, Japan.

“warm December sun” appeared in
Clover: A Literary Rag #9, Summer 2015, page 179, as the sixth verse in my sequence, “The Mended Shoji.” Originally written 23 December 2000 in Minokamo, Japan.

“distant train sound” appeared in
Acorn #1, Fall 1998, page 21, and in my Hexagram series chapbook, For a Moment, Point Claire, Quebec: King’s Road Press, 2009, page 4. Originally written 14 September 1997 in New Westminster, British Columbia

“waiting” appeared in
Modern Haiku XXIX:3, Fall 1998, page 21. Originally written 19 June 1995 in Foster City, California.

And here’s one more of my train poems, first published in Geppo XLI:2, February–April 2016, page 1 (I
 have more):

                train depot—
                a wet leaf clings
                to the stroller wheel