Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Waiting

image from saleartshop.com

The Waiting

Your heart is full of fertile seeds, just waiting
to sprout.”--Morihei Ueshiba.

The bus station bench became too hard to tolerate,
the milling minions                     too loud,
                                                   too boisterous,
                                                   too pleased & joyous
as it seemed that everyone else met up
with a lover, a friend, or a family member,
                    as he sat solitary, arms folded, 
                    legs outstretched.

The great shiny but dusty Greyhounds
         rolled in & parked in neat diagonal rows,
                 their air brakes whooshing, their diesel exhaust
                        choking the air of the terminal garage, as
                  their chrome doors made that distinctive
          clunk folding back & swinging open wide,
allowing the anxious passengers egress.

                                              He watched the traveler’s faces intensely,
                                    witnessing happiness, despair, confusion, anger,
                              rancor & bliss--a swirling cavalcade of emotions, of
                      expressions, slack jaws, clenched teeth, furrowed
                 brows, & a plethora of mysterious situations. 

Too often these days,
working for a year now in the bustling
Kenworth factory,                  he ate alone,
                                                slept alone, &
                                            walked alone,
                   staring into the brightly lit windows
                   of other people’s lives, while listening
                   to other people’s music.

If he had been a writer,                     If he could paint, he would
he would have flooded                      have painted 6 foot high can-
pages with passionate                      vases with black & red & yellow
poetry, or started a novel.                 swaths of abstract sincerity, angst
                                                          & heartache.

Yonglin told him yesterday
that she would come up for
a visit tonight, after her shift at
the diner, in that converted railway
car on the edge of Diggsville, down
in the farm country, traveling up from
the Notch, the placid purity of rural
blessings into the stench & chaos of this
metropolis. They were engaged, but
only managed to see each once a month.

There was one more bus scheduled to arrive at midnight.
Nervously, he walked next door to the New Peking restaurant,
& gobbled down some house fried rice, laden with shrimp,
chicken, pork, eggs & green onions. Sipping hot green tea,
he traced hearts in the lovely grease left on the colorful
platter. He smiled as he read the message extracted from
his stale fortune cookie: Someone will make you happy

Long distance romances
can be difficult to maintain;
but it can be done.

Glenn Buttkus


Blogoratti said...

There is comfort in waiting, in knowing that any moment, love may make an appearance. This is such a delicate piece filled with refreshing elements and thoughts.

brudberg said...

If you are waiting for something good.... What a lovely story, and I so hope that they can find a way to be together more... My thoughts go to China of today....

Victoria said...

OMG--this just drew me in. Confession: I usually read in way too much of a hurry, but today I chose to listen and have a whole new appreciation of your talent as an actor and story-teller. The two stanza's--if he were (a writers, an artist) were much as how I would have seen it. You create a lot of mood with words both written and spoken.

Mary said...

I agree, Glenn; this was an excellent story! I felt this one deeply. You really have a writing talent, Glenn - the ability to get to the heart of the matter. Whew!

Toni Spencer said...

Back again. My computer is temporarily working so that makes me happy. I'm not going to be picky at the prompt I wrote not being followed. Shoes, someone, working computer...as long as something makes someone happy today, I am going to just be content with that and enjoy. Hope something/someone makes you happy today. And you never told us about your theatre adventure. I was laying odds that you stole the show! Thanks for this truly wonderful story for the prompt.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Such a wonderfully stirring tale :D

Shawna said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this. Really, it's difficult for me to read longer poems, but this had me completely captivated. I was so sure the ending was going to be sad and that she wasn't coming after all.

What inspiring/inspired work, Glenn.

De said...

I love the stanza where he is observing all the faces. So much is swirling about in a public place, on any given day, really. So many stories.

Grace said...

Glenn, I love the quote, background, details all leading up to the meeting of the lovers ~ I hope all will go well & that fortune cookie quote is perfect ~

Enjoyed this reading too ~

Anonymous said...

I'm happy for the ending...I was feeling sorry for the poor chap being so alone in the world. Always enjoy your detailed stories, Glenn.

Anonymous said...

more, please :-)

Anonymous said...

Glenn...as always the amount of detail you pack into an image are quite incredible. Love reading your poems.

Marina Sofia said...

A very interesting form on the page, the two columns apart and yet together, mirroring the physical distance between your characters. Reminded me of the novel Waiting by Ha Jin - a couple who had to wait 18 years before they could get married.

Kim M. Russll said...

I very much like the shape of this poem and the poignant story. Thank you :)

Bryan Ens said...

Oh I do hope that Yonglin shoes up on the midnight bus. Love your use of hope, but without giving full resolution.

Bryan Ens said...

Shows...not shoes...lol

kaykuala said...

Yes, it may be indicative of good fortune smiling over him. Whatever distraction or concern may turn out to be just an irritation, a small one at that. He'll be happy!


lillianthehomepoet.wordpress.com said...

Oh I love this one. You've described to a T the greyhound bus itself, the mechanism of the door, the bus station, the folks getting off the bus....And then to have it end with an uplifting hope -- she will be getting off that next bus and the night shall be young again!
Really enjoyed this.......and as always, your placement of words is quite amazing to me!

Anonymous said...

Masterly done!

Nato said...

This was utterly beautiful. I was drawn in and seeing a scene unfold before my eyes. It was like watching a painting on a canvas come to life. A true artist of words indeed:) Thanks for sharing.

Mark Walters said...

there was indeed a time; we would think of it now as life in the slow lane, but it was a lot more sane.

Kate Mia said...

SMiLes.. for years..
alone a youth.. watching
movie goers.. park
people holding
hands.. and
all the other
lovers coo..
i wondered
too.. when
would make
me happy.. then
i lEarned how to do
it.. and no longer do
i yEarn.. iN Earning now..:)

Sumana Roy said...

you really know How to draw one in the magic of your words...

vivinfrance said...

Beautifully observed. Your phrase: " abstract sincerity, angst
& heartache." knocked me sideways.

grapeling said...

fantastic writing, Glenn ~

Anonymous said...

You're missing again, Glenn.

If you need some inspiration, I'm starting up my word-list prompts again. Check it out, if you're interested: