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