A poem by Chase Ambler
~ Reflection ~
I remember riding the Light Rail one day and really noticing some of the monochromatic landscapes that it passes through. The only splotches of color were the few graffiti tags here and there. The attitude on the train wasn’t much different. Back in the days before the internet on cell phones, people had to avoid each other in different ways using newspapers, books, or (the most common choice) staring blankly out the window. It was as if anything vibrant was sucked out of the world for a few minutes. All that was left was blank, steel, gray, and concrete.
While it may not be the most exciting thing to write a poem about, I hope that I captured that mood. In that moment, the gray ash connected commuters/workers across the entire timeline of the locomotive though this train was not coal powered.
“The funeral crowd shifts uneasy” is the closing line of the poem, and though I had originally meant it to describe their somber tone and dress, I now feel that it has even more meaning. The train commute through rundown warehouses is literally a dead space. It doesn’t contain the work, the color, and the life of Denver, and it certainly doesn’t contain the respite, the family, and the joy of home. It is something to be endured. And the perfect soundtrack to accompany this limbo is the sound of wheels on track “rails wailing for wasted day.
Chase Ambler is an American writer who spent his childhood in South and Southeast Asia. His life has been shaped by strange obsessions: heavy metal music, mountains, travel, and soccer. These subjects have all molded his poetry and prose in some way, but the birth of his daughter may have the greatest impact yet. He lives with his wife, baby daughter, and dog in Colorado. If one went looking for Chase, they could find him anywhere from changing diapers to summiting 14,000 foot mountains, but odds are he’s in front of the computer working on his next novel. Visit the FB page for his Novel: Snowsong