My husband challenged me to write this poem last year as we found ourselves listening to old folk songs last Hanukkah. It appears in the book Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays.
This train’s fueled by spirit, not by power nor by might.
Passing through the countryside, she’s shining holy lights.
Nothing can stop her, she’s going all through the night.
She’s an eight car hammer running through the mountains.
Hobos are jumping up just as fast as they can get in.
The last car’s left open, cause it’s meant for them to stay in.
Blessings are sung soulfully as every passenger watches.
The dining car is busily serving up mountains worth of latkes.
Kids are spinning dreidels and unwrapping their new tchotchkes.
One car down you can hear the musicians praying and playing.
Hebrew, English, Yiddish, folks are singing, dancing, swaying.
This car’s so packed with joy, and much more’ll find its way in.
Each car’s glowing brightly, lit by the flames of the menorah.
Loving families gather closely, happily studying the Torah.
There’s plenty of room inside, ‘cause we even saved a seat for ya.
Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays
Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays is D.L. Lang's 9th poetry collection. It is comprised of over 100 pages of inspirational, personal, fictional, and political poetry.
- “The Sixties”, First Place in Flashback to the 60’s Poetry
- “Lift Off!”, First Place in Fair Themed Poetry
- “Street Mouse”, Second Place in Any other Haiku
- “Sally”, Third Place in My Pet
Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays is my 9th poetry collection comprised of poems that were written between December 2016 and June 2017. The title came about as I was stopped at a red light. A local restaurant had a sign on the corner that said, “Catfish Today,” so as a way of passing the time I broke down those words and came up with additional phrases that contained a compound word with an animal and a time period. My aim with this book was to try to largely be uplifting and distracting as an antidote to the often heartbreaking chaos of the world today, so there are intentionally less topical poems than in previous collections. My two personal favorites of this variety are “Where are the Heroes?” and “Affirmations of a Dream” which close out the book. “Cats on Caravan” and “IWWD” refer to my experience of the Women’s March and Strike. As I was preparing my entries for area fairs this year, I wrote “Lift Off!” describing the experience of the fair. “The Sixties” was written to fit the theme of the Marin County Fair that is honoring the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. I was not alive in those years, obviously, but tried to write from the perspective of someone who was. It is one period in American history that continues to fascinate me. I’m quite pleased that both were awarded blue ribbons. I also spent a lot of time reminiscing about my childhood haunt in Enid, Oklahoma, a field down by the railroad tracks that’s now called Oakwood Nature Park, so “Blanton-Kiowa Line” captures the history of that area. I’ve developed an affinity for train songs, so my husband challenged me to write “Hanukah Train” as we found ourselves listening to old folk songs this past Hanukah. This volume brings the total of my published poems to 918. While it will be the first book released after being named the 2nd Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California, poems written during that tenure will be released in future books. This milestone provides a natural closing point for this book. Thanks for reading!