View Full Version : Union Station Poems

04-20-2007, 10:36 AM
Hop-On, Hop-Off

Welcome the Coming
Speed the Parting Guest
......Inscription, Union Station,
......Washington, D.C.

State and territorial flags snap out
stars, bison, eagles, and stripes stream
in the spring breeze, red open-topped
double-deck bus drives by with wind-
battered tourists, hop-on, hop-off.

Atop the globe on Columbus's marble
monument, a proud male pigeon struts
for a female, white tail dragging,
hop-on, hop-off: so the world turns.

Time to light a cigar before my train; set
against the sky, the statue of Freedom
in eagle headdress on the Capitol dome, pink
smudge of cherry blossoms amid greening oaks;
a black kid skateboards past a D.C. Duck.

Christopher T. George

American Centurions

I take shelter under the arcade
of Union Station; light snow slants
in and wets my face. Above the station

doors stand marble centurions, mailed
and armored, fit for Valhalla with winged
helmets. In a dusky window I see

a Hispanic busboy spread a crisp white
table cloth in the America Restaurant.
Later, I sip a Scotch and water,

my train hurtles into the heartland.
I watch snow cover rough pasture
and bison bend their backs

to tufts of straw, chowing down
as if it's their final meal.

Christopher T. George

Fireflies on the Moon

I'm dropped by the curb by Union Station this gray afternoon
below half-mast state flags, limp in April light, lowered
for the college students killed in the latest gun tragedy;

three Stars and Stripes in front of the station hug
their staffs. I stroll toward the flagstaffs:
father, son, and ghost, notice as the flags lift,
ragged red strips of bunting fluttering:

mementoes of the strength of yesterday's Nor'Easter;
the white-painted poles stand rusted, scarred.
The gunman blew his own face off: hard

for authorities to identify the tortured writer.
A presidential candidate informs us we have no
"Plan B" to exit the civil war in Iraq: we fight on.

Two fireflies enter a craft that flies to the moon.
The astronauts open the hatch, the fireflies escape
unnoticed, begin to hover in front of them.

The fireflies' light is captured in photographs
but lack of oxygen causes the fireflies to die.
NASA announces there are aliens on the moon.

Christopher T. George

I owe a debt to Pradeepís Weblog (http://pradx.wordpress.com/2007/03/14/fireflies-on-the-moon/) for the story of the fireflies on the moon. The concept of fireflies on the moon also appears on a mathematical site (http://crl.nmsu.edu/Research/Projects/mikro/htmls/oldstuff-htmls/sets.html).

04-20-2007, 01:50 PM
Halyards and Pigeons

The cab drops me at the curb east of Union Station;
in the Mass Ave circle, the halyards of state flags clank
against the metal flag poles; I watch the drama of three
gold eagle-topped stars and stripes furl and flow

above the station forecourt by the cab line
set against the lemon-cloud afternoon sky. Wish
I had a camcorder to record the scene, saunter
across the street; a gaggle of girls giggle past; am I

the butt of their amusement? Atop of the marble globe
on Columbus's statue, a male pigeon struts for a female;
I think of new chicks; a brief flutter of wings:

they mate. There! The act's done!

Christopher T. George

06-29-2007, 10:08 PM
:handclap::handclap::handclap::handclap: ChrisGeorge !!!


The sight and the ear are organs of tact more than the hand, in the city. They indicate the space and the movement in three dimensions, where everything what happens corresponds exclusively to the kinetic one and refers to our personal safety. Our ears calculate precisely the distance of the danger and the sight loses his optical quality to diminish to a complex function of spur, rein and brake, to the material government of the body that walks between bodies against which it is not necessary to hit. Physiologically and according to the plan of organization of the alive beings, the ear and the sight have pure missions, and because of it the organs are constituted according to the wonderful technology of the aesthetic instruments; in the city they have a tactile function, as tools that are applied directly to the things. They anticipate the impact and repel the objects or look for the prompt paths in the tangle of mobile obstacles. The route is not used to perceive the forms and the colors the masses in movement and his proximity. If they saw the color, the forms and I draw them, we would not advance very much, because to every instant there are in the city prodigies of esfumaturas, shades and details that would fascinate us. Not more not less than the nature, it has hidden exchequers in every particle of a formless mass, in the panoramas and in the details. The light, the color and the forms waste masterpieces in a piece of wall, between the branches of a tree that has behind a building, in an irregular perspective, in a cornice, in a vestibule. Stamps treading on jewels. It is a marem? gnum of broken images, of portions of virginal beauty.

The one who can walk of knees? Our eyes pull us as a halter.

06-29-2007, 10:58 PM
Words, images, sounds, love: they all mold my existence. I invite you to share my dreams and that these give place to new dreams..


ChrisGeorge, my English is killing my texts!!

06-30-2007, 01:12 AM
Hi Marie

Thanks for your reflections on my works. They are appreciated.


06-30-2007, 08:43 AM
Beautiful words and much appreciated.

12-10-2007, 07:45 AM
Union Station: First Snow

Eddie the Baseball umpire disgorges
me from his Red Top Cab; I'm staring
down at pansies drowned in wet snow;

snap the vignette with cameraphone
despite sleet pinging my cheek.
I'm going home on wings of eagles!

Or just the mudslush MARC, ha ha.
Slurred footprints in snowgrass,
sugared holly, oak--holy smoke!

Cabs stream and surge, bus lurches,
grim commuters haul their lives;
giant wreaths hang like bagels

on facade. Whisky-breath, sackcloth bum
craves a buck. I refuse, smoke my cigar,
watch him lurch through the glass doors.

Then I bustle for MARC to the Big B:
bum's passed out on the marble floor,
Smoky-Bear-hatted cops bent over him.

Christopher T. George

Movers and Shakers

I watch an eagle tear
the flesh from a rabbit
on the White House lawn.

Am I dreaming it? I point
it out to the cab driver.
He says, "Uh-huh."
At Union Station,
hardhats raise
a big tent for

a interest group
shindig. Lobbyists

lawmakers, and all get
crocked into the night.
Honchos plot to blast

their rivals
below the knees with
12-gauge shotguns,

and to deny the poor
health coverage or
bury their beloved.

The world says, "Uh-huh."

Christopher T. George

12-10-2007, 11:06 AM
Wish I could write like that ! Giz a job ? Brilliant Chris, you can make those words dance. Thank you.

01-10-2008, 06:43 PM
Thanks, Steven, for your kind words. Here's another, just writ, though drawing on some of the ideas in my previous Union Station poems.

Starlings on Apollo's Head (Sixtieth Birthday Poem)

Let all the ends thou aimst at be thy Country's,
thy God's, and Truth's. Be noble, and the nobleness
that lies in other men--sleeping but never dead--
will rise in majesty to meet thine own.
--Inscription, Union Station

I see the three giant Xmas wreaths lying prone, beached
before Union Station; three weeks ago, wind manhandled

one of those fake evergreen wreaths studded with fairy
lights and stiff red ribbon: it trembled on

stretched guy ropes as travelers sweated for cabs;
the forecourt stars and stripes streamed eastward,

and beyond flapping state and territorial flags,
the U.S. Capitol dome ghosted in the distance;

Columbus's marble colossus of Columbus braved
the sleet, come to claim the New Land.

* * * *

Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest.

Pigeons soar in tight formation round the explorer.
I refuse a bum as I savor my cigar but am ashamed

to see as he approaches others that he only
wanted a light. Today, over seventy years after

the Depression and "Buddy, can you spare a dime."
Pigeons cluster on the pole of Columbus's globe

and starlings perch on the facade's statue of Apollo
and other allegorical figures like raisins. Having

seen the plywood hoardings, I now realise gray steel
girders prop up the tableau. Preserve this grandeur,

full speed into your coming years! In a future spring,
as the state flags snap out their stars, bison, eagles,

stripes, flowing in the breeze, a red open-topped double-
deck bus will sweep by with wind-battered tourists, hop-on,

hop-off on the Columbus's globe, the male pigeon will still
strut for the female, white tail dragging, hop-on, hop-off.

Christopher T. George

"Railroading, Progress of statues at Union Station in Washington, D.C., by Louis Saint-Gaudens" (http://www.dcmemorials.com/index_indiv0000032.htm)