image source: http://steam-locomotives-south-africa.blogspot.com/2010/08/
Poetry Train Africa
by John E. O’Hara aka John E. WordSlinger
7th of May 2016
Sleeping in a different place always was a time when things flashed before the minds eye of a person some time or the other. Contemplating the day, and any other memory slipping its head in the door, saying, ‘Don’t forget me,’ furthermore business and pleasure. Red and Andy have always slept on a train. They have grown used to the sleeper car.
Red was the first one to mind-step into the dream world, and right away he heard the womans’ voice again, but he could not locate her, “Don’t despise!” Despise what, whom? Red asked himself, but figured it must be meaning towards everyone and thing. Red was near a dark forest, the wildest and most inaccessible parts of the country. Kalahari, Africa, sacred land, where rituals were held among trees, at rivers and other natural spots by the Bushmen, the San People of Kalahari, Africa, and they could whistle some beautiful harmonies, and they went will with their drumbeats. Dancing was accompaniment with the music they played. Dancers formed a circle, and wine was passed around to share, it was as they called it, the spirit of the hour.
Red loved the singing “Hey you hey, You shake your annon, ey ey aye, hi let ta li li la tey ta book, ey ey aye, You shake your annon! I ‘am in a desert, Red said to himself as he looked closer around into his surroundings, and there were young trees and small grasses around. The San People wore what looked like tourists’ cast-off t-shirts, pants, shoes, and hats. A man with a headband was staring with inquisitive eyes at Red for a minute, as Red made out his place. The mans’ forehead was wrinkled with curiosity. The man walked up to Red. Red lost focus on the music and dancers because of this.
“You are in Kgala, the land of the great thirst,” The man handed Red a ball looking cup, a gourd vessel of morula wine. “Have some of this. It’s wine, made from a water-less place,” The man snickered, and made click sounds, ““”|”, “||”, “!” ,”=” /, / /, //, ≠, ! and Θ. We can breathe in the night time. We drink the waters that their fathers had drunk, it’s magic wine, made from this mornings dew, and water from Baobab trees, mixed with Tsama melon and Gemsbok cucumber flavors. We save some for the next batch.”
Red was nervous as he sat there pulling Eragrostis grass.
The man laughed at Red and asked, “Are you in love, because you keep pulling the grass, that is love grass.”
Red patted the spot where he pulled the grass from, and replied as he put the pulled grass back laughing, “No, no, not yet, but I ‘am open to love.”
The man laughed again and said, “Ha ha, love is open to you too. My name is Mak, and I ‘am a old Hashaani, a hunter… You are deep in the jungle, Ku muthitu. So you brought Scratch with you, the Canadian Mountain Lion?”
Red looked and smiled, and petted Scratch behind the ears, and Scratch was looking at Mak. Red looked at the Maks’ unusual backpack and seen his arrows, dionga and nubbo they were called. Red looked at his knifes strapped around his waist, and looked at Mak and said, “Nice to meet you, my name is Red. How?” Red got interrupted, but also Red watched Mak go for a knife.
“These are my Yimende, hunting knives for skinning. I know your name.” Mak replied.
Red thought, Even in the jungle they know our names.
Mak asked, “So you have been to Mississippi have you? Well we don’t have no Negritude here man. We have violent art. We have no defective poetic vision here.”
Red smiled and said, “You speak English well. Yes I have been to Mississippi, love that beautiful state, and its Poets and Poetry. Red laughed and said, “Attitudes are like skin, we can shed them.”
“Or we can skin them off,” Mak replied reaching for a knife.”
Red re-heard what Mak said ‘We have violent art. We have no defective poetic vision here.’ Was Mak being sarcastic, and about to draw Reds blood, Red thought, No, he maybe afraid of Scratch.
Mak reached into his satchel, and took out a sharpening stone, and began to sharpen his knife. Mak then looked into Reds’ eyes and said, “We believe that the regeneration of African consciousness is essential to real African development and progress. African consciousness arises from the norms and values inherent in the traditional way of life. These values were marginalized under colonialism and apartheid, when African people were forced to adopt Western norms and values, and because of this we are weakened spiritually and psychologically. You see Red, the pride, dignity, independence and strength of our true legacy as an African is ‘our son’ and ‘a son of the people, so we are protective, we see those who force notions of sustainability.”
Red looked around and other tribesmen came kicking up dust from the ground, and sat down with them. Red looked at Mak with understanding eyes, and said, “I ‘am learning, we came here to learn, share and make friends. I can only speak for me and Andy.”
“Where’s Andy? Mak asked.
“He is somewhere.” Red replied. Wishing they could tele-dream at this moment. “I can understand how you feel,” Red proclaimed, “ Life and poetry is a gift, and it is well appreciated. We came here for the experiences, and to make friends. Experiences with Poetry and Place. We are here for those things only, and not to change things. These moments are something we want to live in, to cherish them. I do have to say, we also came here to inspire, because we know how important Poetry is. Red noticed a beetle pushing a rock. This was majesty in nature. Red thought, Insects even work a night shift.
“We are the San, San people,” Mak proclaimed, “Long ago the whiteman named us the Bushmen. They consider us bandits and outlaws. We are the Poets of the tribe.”
Red noticed these rocks had art on them. Was the beetle part of the gathering? Red was fascinated by this. The other tribe members sitting with them noticed this too, and laughed.
Mak spoke, “This area is deathless, no one has died here, so we camp here, and beetles follow us with our art work on rocks we forgotten about.
Red listened also to the singing, and dancing happening by the large fire.
“The government follows us too, they make our life miserable.” Mak explained, “We have taken them to court and nothing but our right to hunt, and gather in the reserve only.”
Ah I see, said Red, I ‘am from the United States as you know, and ours follow us, and Canada too, so I understand. I ‘am no government official.
Mak gave Red some Hoodia Gordonii to chew on, and it is a plant. “It is sour, but your hunger pangs will go away, and it will make you forget you came from the Bitterpits.” Mak proclaimed.
Red ate some Hoodia, and Reds’ face began to form a sour frown, and everyone laughed.
Red asked, So they are trying to drive you all out, and using thirst as a weapon?
“Yes.” Mak replied.
Red could not believe how out of control and cruel their government was, such a sad thing Red thought. All over diamonds! These people are the real gems. Ahh, Red thought, I don’t even want to think about those who purchase diamonds… Do even purchasers of diamonds realize the cause and effect of these actions? Why do people make things so harsh and complicated?
“Nyae Nyae belongs to us,” said Mak and clicked. “”|”, “||”, “!” ,”=” … /, / /, //, ≠, ! and Θ.
Red realized what they needed to defend themselves, and to express their own concerns, a written language, and the ability to read and write it. The San People needed their click language to fight back against discrimination. Why not, the San had their own click Poetry? Red seen the dispossession in their eyes.
“|”, “||”, “!” ,”=” Mak was reciting a poem, “ /, / /, //, ≠, ! and Θ” about collapsing schools, and then another about no one dares to challenge the management although they want to. Mak also mentions, he wants to sell poetry books at the arts and crafts center. The Poems Red liked were of a toss up, one is about a UFO landing in the bush. One is about a Super-lake, and their was another poem that received Reds attention and that one was about a ladder over the fence, once over the fence, you’re over the border to Botswana. Red thought that was fascinating.
Antelope walked by, and were eating plants, dead grass and leaves.
“Antelope eat all night, and lick morning dew,” says Mak, “And they dig up succulents, melons, wild cucumber, like we do.” Mak laughs and says, “We scare them away, and sometimes we follow them.”
Red smiled, and said, I ‘am enjoying the experience, songs, and poetry. It’s all opening my mind to legends. Red took another drink of wine, and thought about the capacity to adapt to chaos.
“You better learn how to be a human sundial!,” Mak said to Red.
Red made a click sound hoping it meant yes, “!”
They all laughed, talked in their click lingo, and began to sharpen their knives, spears, and mark their arrows.
Reds eye brows lifted, and he thought, Okay. Red asked, Can I have a knife? And Red recited some lines from the poem, In Memoriam A.H.H. by Lord Alfred Tennyson.
They all did not say a word. They looked at each other, looked at the nights sky, and again sharpened their knives and spears. They also marked their arrows again.
Red smiled and said, “Poetry is a pain killer.” Red thought about more adaptive strategies, like their government should. Shelter and water.
Mak looked at Red and spoke, “We can talk about genocide all night but it won’t stop them. We can listen to you ask us about superstitious cannibalism and child soldiers. But we need to prepare for man eating lions and monkey eating humans. Also Hyenas that kill as much for thirst as hunger. They lap up the blood, moisture and fluids of intestines.”
Red stood up a bit scared and asked, “Can I have a knife? Because, because what if a Rhino comes looking for its fire?”
They all laughed, and Mak gave Red a knife. A meteorite flew through the sky, and they all looked at each other.
Red asked, What? Because he knew they were contemplating.
“Shhh.” Mak signaled to Red, and said, “Hunter must be quite, or he won’t eat. /, / /, //, ≠, ! and Θ. Everything is poetic rhythm here. Poetry for sure, will live on.” Mak looked at Scratch and whispered, “I ‘am the one whom Scratch derides, I ‘am the one who does not run fast. For Scratch is the one who runs fast.”
Scratch talked with his tongue, “Haggla, Heggle, Heggli.”
Mak gave Red a rock to throw into the fire, so evil things would not follow him, so Red got up, and walked to the fire, and threw the rock into the fire. Upon return, all of the men were ready to go hunting, and Mak told Red, “Do not look at the moon, if you have killed game. The game would desire to take us away to a place where no water was. We could die of thirst, so listen to the beatings inside of you, and do not look at the moon. Also do not lose one’s way, so you better follow us.”
Hammer head birds could be heard.
We are just going to tag along, no killing by me, Red proclaimed and looked at Scratch, and Red said, Scratch, well I am sure he knows what is best. Lead the way Mak, we will behind your back.
Chimpanzees were climbing above them in the trees, and it looked like they were cutting down limbs from above, but they weren’t. The Chimpanzees were climbing down to the ground, so they all walked faster.
“We are under their watchful eyes,” said Mak.
Red looked at Scratch and he seemed to be not worried, and Scratch has been fearless the whole time.
The Chimpanzees began to scream. They all noticed one Chimpanzee hooting and panting. This Chimpanzee hurled a rock at a tree, and ran up to it. This Chimpanzee picked up the stone, and hit it repeatedly against a tree with its hands and feet. “Bang, bang,” the Chimpanzee was drumming.
“These trees are their shrines, and they are sacred trees,” Mak proclaimed.
This is epic, Red spoke softly, This is like their prayer poetry. They must be asking for inspiration.
“Remember Red they can not swim,” said Mak.
Red almost looked up at the sky, but didn’t. He listened to Mak, but Red wanted too, because it was meteorite night Red thought, and he looked back at the Chimp throwing rocks, and thought how gracious and odd, so who was throwing the meteorites? Red awoke puzzled by all of this, so he laid there on his pallet thinking while everyone else slept.
Andy began to dream in a desolate and strange place, and he could feel this place has its own spirit. Andy thought as he was dreaming, Why was he wandering in a desert? Was he in the land of the empty hand, the Kalahari Desert? Andy thought, and could feel the sweeping hand of time here. The sand was red, so Andy thought about all that had rot there. The long time of a-dying. The wind began to growl putting silence what seems to be under the sands of time. Andy began to howl with the wind, and explore and trek the dune. “Where is the mystery, the lost city, the poetry because we are on a Africana Poetry Collectanea? Botswana, Botswana, long ago where no human robots just want a,” and Andy laughed, “I love the name Botswana, sounds so ots a wanna.”
A young boy bent over, and picked up something. The boy looked at it, and it was little but it had sparkle, and the boy ran away over a hill.
Andy stopped walking and thought, He must have found a diamond. Has Andy witnessed the first one ever found that changed the history of Africa? Andy then heard grunting, and thought, I could be a Lions dinner so I better be alert. I have no gun, camera and note book. I must be aware of Danger, Doom and Dreads sister too. Ghosts walked by, and they were soldiers of the Anglo-Boer War. Andy swallowed his spit, and non-ghostly soldiers road by on horseback not noticing Andy. There was no place to hide. Andy looked up and there were many clouds. Dust devils were active erasing footsteps. Andy found a bush, and there was shade so he took off his shirt, and sat down on it, onto the scorching ground. Andy heard explosions, and after those he heard a woman crying, but shouting too, “Give back my dead, the dead who grew upon me!” The woman had dark hair, and she was raising her fists to the sky, and again she cried out, “Give back my dead, the dead who grew upon me! In blood, In blood! My life is woe. Woe to the Empire!”
Andy ran over a hill to get a closer look, and she was pacing frantically back and forth in front of a tiny house. Andy placed his shirt on the ground, and laid there so she couldn’t see him. Andy could tell it was about death, the enigma haunting her.
“There is bitterness in my soul because I ‘am a woman,” she proclaimed.
Ants began to pester Andy.
The woman began to speak poetry,
Let it have scope,
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope;
High and more high,
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent, &c &c
Andy listened and the poem was by Ralph Waldo Emerson entitled ‘Give All To Love.’
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive.
The woman clenched her hands behind her back, and was mumbling. She then paced to and fro. She spoke, “He will annex the stars if he can.”
Andy spoke, and maybe he shouldn’t have but did, and she heard him, and she looked at him, and said, “Andy, it’s about time. Evil Cecil John Rhodes. Andy I know all about the haunting sense of exile. Please come inside I will make you dinner. I ‘am sure you are hungry.”
Andy got up put on his shirt, and asked, “Yes, please. You know me, and I ‘am ashamed, because I do not know your name, forgive me.”
“Olive Schreiner,” Olive replied, “Emilie Albertina Schreiner but I changed my first name to Olive. No need to apologize. As much as you do, and read and listen. How could anyone keep up with you and Red. The men who reads, and listens to the poetry world one by one. Come in Andy. Where’s Red?”
Andy smiled and replied, “I ‘am not sure, he’s around somewhere.”
They both went inside Olive Schreiners home, and her pet monkey from out of nowhere followed behind them. Andy laughed and said, “Nice.”
Olive smiled and said, “Socrates meet Andy.”
The monkey Socrates spoke, “Hoo hoo hoo whoop.”
Andy smiled and Olive said, “The Poet Vachel Lindsay would be impressed too Andy, have a seat, and I shall return. When Socrates gets to a krak-ooing and a hoking Andy, he gets like me, angry,” and Olive laughed.
Andy laughed… He looked at the mud floors, and then at Socrates as he jumped onto his resting place made for him. Andy browsed Olives book shelves. Olive knew too what Andy was doing.
“Yes my refuge from cosmic abandonment and the scourge of loneliness, books,” Olive proclaimed, “Not all that is buried is dead.”
Andy replied, “Not all that is awake are alive.”
“That is correct Andy,” Olive replied, “While African leaders are here, European powers are stippling Africa up with knives. The world knows me under my pseudonym as a man Andy, as Ralph Iron. I bet you like that name. It would suit you too, Andy Iron.”
Andy laughed, “Nice, I like that. Maybe Andy Schreiner.”
Socrates must be laughing too, because he was gibbering.
Olive brought Andy some water, and went back into her little kitchen, and made dinner. Upon her desk were papers, and a manuscript that read ‘From Man to Man.’ This made Andy deeply contemplate. Because he too has an un-finished book. Publishing this book in his lifetime was and wasn’t important. Although the thought came that it would be, but vanity, and furthermore screw what people think, because we live in a world where we need money, but it wasn’t about money, it was about wisdom, truth and heart. Heart, we all need to dwell in heart, and each others heart, not each others pocket book or wallet.
Olive was a Master, she read Andys mind in a way, and said to him as she brought him his plate of food, “We can say things to the dead that we cannot say to the living.”
Andy looked at the dinner Olive made for him, thanked her, said his grace, and went into eating with happiness, and felt blessed, the good omen he, and Red talked about when they were at sea from Canada. Andy thought as he ate, ‘Just maybe that’s where a problem is, maybe we should say things to the living what we say to the dead. Like this food she made, he had no clue what it was but it was delicious, he loved it, and he appreciated the meal.’
Olive fed Socrates, and ate too.
After dinner she told Andy about Matjesfontein, a town east from there, and she was going to listen to politicians at a Train Station, and asked Andy to join her. She mentioned that Cecil Rhodes admired her, but she did not admire him. She told Andy her thoughts about South Africa, and Andy realized she was on time code turf, so he had to be careful what he replied to her with.
“War is hell,” she said, “And I want my dead back! Andy, you must be as you are, do not remain in efflorescence on stolen land!”
Andy was loving this, and hoped he was a comforting guest, and this reminded him of Utah, in Poetry Train America, where Eliza R. Snow liked to get naked when she cooked, but Olive like to get naked in wisdom out there in un-disturbed nature on the plains of Africa.
Andy was smiling in his dream and Red could not go back to sleep, he tried and tried. Andys’ smiles made Red laugh and this awakened Andy.
“Whoo,” Andy expressed, “That was a bad ass dream Red. Dang it, I want to go back, and you too, you need to be there too, it was getting heavy man, deep stuff, the Poet Olive Schreiner and I where on a roll. I found a puzzle piece, or pieces Red, we must dream together or study this.
Ha ha, I can tell you where a traveling, Red replied.
“Ya ya, good omen stuff too.” said Andy. Olive mentioned we must not remain in efflorescence.”
Sweet, said Red, Poe spoke of this too, an efflorescence of language in the Poetic Principle, referring to language that was flowery, or overly rich and colorful.
Andy laughed, “Ol Poe, wonder what he and Alphonso are doing? Red, Olive is beautiful, her hair is fine as heaven.”
Red laughed, and said, Go back to sleep. We are going to wake up Mathias.
It was night in the dream. A dream they both tele-dreamed. Andy was aboard the train and at the back where the back stairs are. One could not see the stars. The fog was like a full train station packed with chat but it was not a souls lit up late evening. Andy stood by the back door waiting on Olive. Love does exist, Andy thought, thinking inside the cab of a train, thinking of a future relationship, thinking of knowing, thinking someone would be thinking of thinking of loving you from a future.
“The intellectual magnitude of Shakespeare, Dante, Goethe, and Voltaire our noble accretion of the beautiful and great,” Olive proclaimed as she climbed the stairs. “Andy, great people, great actions, great arts, great developments are impossible without those closely united, so you are on the right path.”
Andy was thinking and wished that love was like an intellectual magnitude germ. Then poetry was like a train too he thought, you and your reader going into one direction on the track of words.
“Language is also the realm of peril Andy,” said Olive, “For words are linked to transgression. The sorcery of writing promises self-justification and autonomy. In language you have magician’s power to conjure from nowhere the miracle of approval.”
“I can approve this message,” Andy replied laughing.
“You are fun Andy.” Olive proclaimed. Olive went on inside the train. Andy went to close the back door, and he looked up at the nights sky. The moon and the clouds caught Andys’ attention, and he thought of his mother. When Andy thinks of his mother, he knows she is proud of him. She always wanted him to be a Rockstar Poet. Andy was one but Andy as the world knows he and Red are Poetry astronomers observing other Poet stars and sharing them with the world, so all could see their beauty and existence. The wind helped Andy close the back door, and he gave the moon one last glimpse, and thought the moon is like a train too, carrying time, life, and what memories the moon must have.
“Take your face yonder!” Olive asked.
“I am coming Olive,” Andy replied, and followed Olive to their seats. Laughter could be heard in a car they were going to. A man backed out of the facilities as they walked by and he was Lewis Howard Latimer, an American inventor. “What are you doing here?” Andy asked.
Lewis laughed and replied, “I ‘am here installing an improved toilet system, and I think I got it all worked out and done,” and he laughed again.
“Sweet, let me here it?” Andy asked.
“Sure thing.” Lewis Howard Latimer replied and flushed the toilet.
“Well done.” said Andy and laughed.
Lewis laughed and Olive opened the seating car door and laughter could be heard and it was the laughter Red, and Mark Twain.
Andy was in awe and thought, What in the world is Lewis doing here, and that’s when Olive said, “You give me any crap Andy, and you’ll be using that thing for a while.” and Olive laughed.
Everyone laughed because we all knew women multiply’s what has been given to her, good or bad.
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” said Mark Twain.
Andy looked at Red and gave that time code silence look, and thought about what Twain had just said, and Andy thought of the Moon he had just seen too, and what duty the Moon was doing. The Moon and Mark Twain were on a tour round the world. Gilarmi Farini was on the train too with some men from Africa, and he recited his poem The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Mark Twain replied, “Yes that swift hand of Time. Andy and Red are keeping and doing a great job with their eyes and work. Times quickness is getting a bit caught.” Mark laughs. “We should arrive at a fairly good time.”
Andy looked at Red with his eye bows lifted.
Mark looked at Olive and said, “I ‘am such a wretched hand at remembering people’s names, my apologies.”
Andy looked at Olive and said, “Mark meet Olive Emilie Albertina Schreiner.”
They all looked at her and her beautiful long hair.
“Thank you Andy. Olive I seldom can sleep in a train anywhere, and when I do sleep it does me little good.” Mark replied. “Olive you have a gift beyond the ordinary that gives large promise of great things in the future.” Mark then looks and Andy and Red. “I read the ‘Story of an African Farm.’ The book is good literary art, and gives a clear, definite picture, I believe, of the country where the scene is laid.”
“Thank you.” Olive replied, and looked at Andy.
“So where is this boy who found the diamond?” Mark asked.
Andy looked at Red, and replied. “I seen him before I got to Olives house. The boy ran off after he found it.”
Mark laughed and said, “He should have buried it back into the earth to stop traders thinking they are fooling others, when they are themselves are the ones being fooled.”
“You never know what stories are to be found and told from the bellies of sharks, fictional or not.” Mark Twain replied. “One must lay bare truths about racial oppression with a particular vigor, and reveal true aims by leaders. You all know me and my Weapons of Satire. We here are not sitting in the darkness, even though that is how we arrive.” Mark looks at Red and Andy. “Your coach Charles H. Gragg taught you literary boxers well, I add. You all do know what the non-poets poem is don’t you? Well if you don’t I tell you. Kill and burn. This is no time to take prisoners. The more you kill and burn, the better. Kill all above the age of ten. Make the place a howling wilderness!
Andy looked out the window, and looked at the only tree in sight. He thought of what Mathias had told them, ‘We need powerful protest poetry.’
“Raise the pen to oppose as I ‘am currently as I ‘am for my new write, King Leopold’s Soliloquy,” Mark proclaimed.
Gilarmi Farini was silent, and who knows what he was thinking. He felt he needed to add some sense, humor sense, so he looked at Andy and Red and said, “You two are welcome to be clowns in my shows, if you can find time in your busy schedules.”
They all laughed.
Olive brushes her hair and says, “It is the swimmer who first leaps into the frozen stream who is cut sharpest by the ice; those who follow him find it broken, and the last find it gone. It is the men or women who first trad down the path which the bulk of humanity will ultimately follow, who must find themselves at last in solitude’s where the silence is deadly.”
If you feel poetry touching you upon your soul you know that it is sharp, Red proclaimed. Even ol’ Scratch here knows that, ya ya, and everyone laughed again.
The train cars door opened, and man with a cowboy hat walked in. His hat was lifted up on the left side, an Australian fashion. He spoke poetry as he entered the train car,
The night’s a trifle chilly and the stars are very bright,
a heavy dew is falling but the tent is rigged a’right
you may rest your bones till morning, but, should you chance to wake,
give me a call about the time that daylight starts to break
I just set my horse free unlike me, because I’d been taught to
Fight fire with fire.
tactics of hit and run,
Live off the land and strike
when least expected with my gun
Shoot straight, you bastards
Don’t make a mess of it
and what a mess I ‘am in
His Australian accent was charming as he spoke.
“Let me please introduce myself, I ‘am Harry Harbord Morant, and they call me the Breaker because of my horse breaking skills. I ‘am on the run gentlemen and time is running short for me. I have been court martial’d for the firing squad, but I will not, I tell you all I will not be blindfolded.”
Morant looked out the window of the train, and his Sans People friends were waving good bye to him.
“They love my poetry.” Morant said smiling. “They are fond of my poem “The Man from Snowy River.”
The train began to move, and Morant recited his poem “The Brigalow Brigade.”
Olive applauded Morant and said, “Have a seat, we are all on the run from some Empire, so smile while you are in exile.”
Mark Twain knew there was a posse in effect, and looked at Andy and said, “I ‘am waiting for my guest. I bet he is lost on the train.”
Red said, Excuse me everyone but maybe we should recite the poem ‘Invictus’ by William Ernest Henley and “If” by Rudyard Kipling… These poems inspire strength I say.
Andy nudged Red because he was tampering with Time and its codes again.
Mathias nudged Red and Andy awake, “It’s time to make poetry strudel you noodle heads.”
Andy quickly jumped up to use the facilities and Boet was in there.
“Andy, you are going to love this.” Boet proclaimed and asked, “Do you like Slash? He’s the guitar player from Guns and Roses.”
“Yes Boet, please hurry, I have to go,” said Andy.
“I just got in here,” Boet replies.
“Slash has a great heart Boet,” said Andy “I met him in Hollywood in 1990 at a club. I was there with a new friend Andre who looks like Bruce Dickinson from there, my friend Andre introduced me to Chris Holmes of WASP. Chris was in a bad mood of sorts, and &c. Chris noticed that Slash came in, and Chris said, ‘There’s Slash, he has a gold record, he can buy us some drinks. I have no money at the moment because Blackie Lawless and Lita took all of my money, he was married at the time to her, and Chris said that Blackie was an a-hole. So he said ‘Come on meet Slash.’ So we go up to the bar. He introduces us, and Slash has a body guard. So I’m quite and content, listening to them, and a band was setting up to play there, but forgot who they were. Time goes by. Chris and Andre move on to other people they know… I ‘am listening to Slash talk. I finally spoke to him. I said, ‘Have a safe trip to Boston’. He replied, ‘What did you just say?’ ‘Have a safe trip to Boston’ I replied. He said, ‘Come here.’ His body guard stepped up a bit. Slash looked at him and said, ‘It’s okay,” Slash looks at me, and says, ‘Thank you, my own mother does not even wish things like that on me.’ He gave me a hug, and started to cry. ‘Thank you,’ he said, ‘You are one hell of a guy. That means a lot to me.’ He looks at the bar maid, and says. ‘Get this man another drink.’ He asked whom I was and what I was doing here. And I told him, I was here to get Begets of Autumn some gigs, and we were from Chicago, and we already got booked at some places once the rest of the band got to L.A… He wished me luck and said, ‘L.A. was great place to be for music.’ He looked at his watch, no cell phones at this time,” and Andy laughed and Slash said, ‘Walk with me out to the car, tell me where you live, and I’ll come and visit you.’ So I told him, and he replied, ‘Thanks man that was nice of you to wish me that, the world does not care really about people, and that meant a lot to me.’ So that is my story of Slash, so hurry Boet.”
Boet flushed and came out. “Andy that is a great story. This is important, he was just in Africa. He made a video for his song about trade in elephant ivory. The song is called, ‘Beneath the Savage Sun.’ Ivory trade is a threat to elephants.”
“Nice,” Andy replied, “ I agree Boet. Pull up the song so we can hear it please.”
“Savage humans,” said Andy in the bathroom.
Mathias laughs and says, “There are also rat-eating plants, snake-eating frogs, and bird-eating spiders.”
“Alrighty,” Andy yells out from the bathroom, “Lets hear that song.”
“After that everyone, we need to get to the train station,” Mathias proclaimed.
They all rushed and gathered things, and the song played on, and so did they, underneath the savage sun.
“We have to run faster,” said Mathias, “I forgot to wind my watch, so we are late.”
Andy laughed and said, “Run, run like we are running to the Harry Ransom Center.”
Boet asked “What is that place?”
Andy ran faster and laughed, “I heard it was the Poets Hall of Fame.”
Red laughed and ran faster, and Red spoke, Mathias, what the heck man. You use your phone for the net, I know dang well you have an alarm on that thing. Get a battery operated watch or use the phone, and get a lap top.
As they got to the station, Boet looked up what the Harry Ransom Center was, and after he caught his breath Boet said, “The Harry Ransom Center is a museum at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the collection of literary and cultural artifacts from the United States and Europe for the purpose of advancing the study of the arts and humanities. Harry was a visionary like you two”
As they were getting in line to board the train to Botswana, a man came, and stood in line behind them. The man was the legendary lenseman Sam Haskins. Sam looked at all of them and laughed. Sam spoke, “This is another highlight of my life. I love the circus train, but this is the poetry train.” Haskins laughed again and said to Red, “Maybe you should dress up in feathers.”
And they all laughed, and boarded the train.
Sam Haskins said, “When I was a young tart, I’d wake up at 5:00 a.m. to meet the Circus Train. I never missed a thing. Those were the days of my life, magic land. My father was a goods inspector on South African Railways, and I had a blessed life.”
Andy looked at Sam, and thought, One day when I ‘am his age, will I be like him, full of memory, happiness and accomplishments?
They all sat down in their seats, and Sam ordered hot coffee and congac.
They all ordered coffee.
Andy we have a lot to do today, said Red.
“I know,” Andy replied, “I have been thinking about that, so where do we start?”
Red mentioned all to study and do, The Shamanic view of mental illness, how the Literary class system is impoverishing Literature, Science shows us something surprising about what reading poetry does to your brain, U.K. copyright myths exploded, U.S. Copyright vs. WGA Registry, Trans-Kalahari Railway Project and Poets on the train.
Andy replied, Lets start with Yotanka. Andy smiled, “Yes Red, what a great way to start the day.”
Red spoke, Yotanka has a poem for us entitled, ‘Poetry Train Africa.’ She says the write pertains to her Grandfathers story as he traveled to England and another story that he also related of a friend he knew that did just as was told in the story, helped free him. They traveled the underground railway to Canada and then from Nova Scotia back to his homeland with her Grandfather’s old friend, who he got to see before his death not long after his return from Africa.
Andy replied back to Yotanka on Facebook, This story poem is beyond grand, great, and all the gr gr’ in the alphabet garden can’t participate, wow, isn’t even a noise… Beautiful to us, ya ya…
Red and Andy were smiling from ear to ear. The Poetry Train thanks you Yotanka, the Poet who is a surely a Dear… appreciated & charm’d…
Boet all kicked back and relaxed and says, “So what’s your introspection?”
Andy laughs and says, “Well we don’t need no science proofs, in our poetry pursuits that’s for sure.”
Red laughs and says, Through poetry one day they’ll figure out a memory machine, sort of like googles noogles, linked through time, and the creator is the reader… Ha ha… ya ya. You see boys & girls they are learning that the big bang was a little blast from a bb-gun, they aint seen nothing yet.
And everyone laughed.
Red laughed again and says, I say savage only because I ‘am defending Poets, and to me those Anti-Poets who claim writers are wacked and such, I say like Marohn says, Some Poets are messengers from the other realm, and they bring bad and good news. The fact is most people can’t handle it.
“Them dang’d ol school teachers yall, as the farmers in Portland Tennessee told us, they should never take poetry out of schools, look at what all is going on,” Andy proclaimed, “Go on Red we are listening.”
Red spoke, As Lorraine Berry points out, Obama and Sanders are right, and her schoolteachers were wrong. We were and are not taught how to deal or even taught to acknowledge the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world. In fact, psychic abilities are denigrated.
“This is terrifying.” said Boet.
“Google the band Nuclear Assault and the song Brainwashed,” said Andy, “And remember Obama smiling in an address he made about college students and Ramen soup? I find that interesting, as well as he told Government employees they don’t have to worry about their paychecks, that money comes from a different pool, smiling and hinting that money pops up out of no where. I’ll never forget it. Because hey I pray and prayed for the man, as Confucius desires for us to do for our leaders. The man has aged since 08 as I. Look at our gray hair. We have been blessed since 2008… The Poetry muse has our back!”
Boet gets up, and claps his hands and says, “I ‘am loving this reminds me of those human zoos, evil stuff. You all two are bad ass. You two are freeing Poets from this realms mind prison. Ha-ha I love it. Come on Red tell us more.”
Lets just say they have been un-equipping us for a while, until the birth of baby elephant O.P. Poor little Ele didn’t have a clue, that they were freeing Poets from the zoo, Red proclaimed. As WordSlinger said there back in the day, ‘There is so much wisdom here. This website is a living book of 21st Century Poets, starting a readers revolution.’
Andy adds, “And the rich ol’websites and doogo woogie boogie presses want to call it vain. Please, best get a grip, oh ya they trying,” Andy laughs. “Excuse me, but we are a part of the poetic audience too. Ding dong! I know you are not RxR workers and bridge builders and &c &c,” and Andy laughs. “Poetry what a rush!”
Boet laughs, “We need more coffee please. What we have here is um, Communication,”
Red spoke, “What we have here is a traveling poetry show and school, with nearly 300 drop outs.
Boet asks, “I wonder if he’s still gathering rebel treasure.” As he looked at some things… “Wow,” Boet expressed, “People in charge has some serious issues. Freaking sad. And they want to punk out the little guy and gal. BS”
No sooner then that Staffriders climbed on the train to get a glimpse of Red and Andy and Mathias.
“So Poets and Nature are trying to become one, or are one, and there are forces out there causing disruption?” Boet asked.
Something like that, Red replied, That’s why talking politics and religion cause mass confusion., and leads away from the realm. Andy ease up on the rich.
“I know, I just like taunting, because there are no pockets on the spirit, only heart,and the bad ass memory.” said Andy. “Poets know billiards of the realm, of words, not only that, the chalk board of Angelic studies of words. There are pranksters in world classes every where, trying to cure the poetry flu. Keep in mind Red, we also have to study today, UK Copyright Myths.”
Ya and not only that, we also have to look at how Sir Sanford Fleming maybe the greatest person when it comes down to copyrights, Red replied.
“Okay you do that, while I study US Copyright vs. WGA Registry,” said Andy.
Boet got up and said, “Sweet, and I’ll go get us breakfast.”
Mathias was in poetry land writing and writing, protest poetry, and the train rolled on like a shooting star in the psyche of humanity.
Purushotam Kumar says, Really, Poets are the Angels of the God on this earth. He wants us to study memory more,” says Andy. “Ah Canada, Canada gave us so many keys to the realm. What a blessing Canada is to the world. Red you have to love it, the mystery has it’s index finder up, saying ‘Come here! lol I love it… “
The train moved along to Botswana, and Andy posted on the Trains Facebook all. Before we grab a ladder a take another peak over th’Botswana border again, lol, we want to learn the history of this song, we heard some things, post if yall know a thing or 2. (Red & Andy, when this song came out when we were young, we loved it and still do.)
Canadian Poet Fannon Holland replied, “Its a song about the riots in England over race relations. Although little to no violence actually occurred on Electric avenue, Grant thought that it best fit the beat and sounded good … just like Billy Joel’s Allentown, event though there were no actual steel mills in Allentown.”
Andy conversed with Fannon some and did slight research on this and read an interview on Eddie Grant, and this shined, ‘I do truly believe that if you take care of the MUSIC, then the music will take care of YOU….
This is a principle he and Red share, but with Poetry, ‘Keep Poetry and Poetry shall Keep you.”
Yes it would be nice to be published with a big company and get paid for what you love to do, but money causes so many problems, and all focus is lost because of it. With Poetry that is, but they are searching into screenplays and much more, and looking at the table, the future, present and what was before, and all that lightning of Shakespeares’ lore.
Red scanned and found Poet/Artist Bukhosi Nyathi and played his song, ‘Listeners’ and it’s about Owl wisdom and spirituality. They all loved it, and they watched a film he was in entitled. ‘Killjoy.’ Killjoy is about a 25 year old writer who has been struggling to piece together a manuscript and has his ex-girlfriend whom he has a daughter with pressuring him into getting a job to help her support their daughter and abandon his dreams of one day being a successful novelist.
Red and Andy looked at each other, and smiled, because synchronicity was illuminating.
A woman walked by, and gave them all oranges and grape fruits, and the train moved onward, upward, and forward.
(Chapter 3 soon to be)
Chapter 1 Poetry Train Africa Chapter 1 Cape Town South Africa, The Arrival by the Sea of Darkness
ya ya the C inside the Circle John E. WordSlinger
Poetry Train Africa is the Third Book of Poetry Train Stories
Poetry Train America and Poetry Train Canada
all acknowledgments and &c &c here so join us on the journey:
a PoetryTrain.com webcast