East-West train, day 2

woke up to a transformed landscape 
and this is why I love taking the train
for moments like this 
waking up to a darkened land 
I don't even know what state I am in 
falling asleep to Texas scrub bush
waking to my dear plant friend 
chapparal (larrea tridentata) 
that which I've been writing about 
dreaming about 
carrying with me 
ever since I left the USA
and returned 
chapparal, yucca, and prickly pear 
the land has flattened 
and the scrub bush rolls all the way to the horizon 
where mesas touch the sky 
as we roll on through the day 
clouds gathering at the cliffs 
strong sun warming my snow-frozen bones 
the mesas grow 
we plow through some mountains 
in our metal bullet train 
my eyes close 
to enjoy the sun through my eyelids 
scrub bush begins to include more sage brush 
and now it changes into junipers scattered through the landscape 
larger yuccas raising their arms to greet the sky 
tall dried out flower pods nodding to the wind 
in the wake of 
passing train 
I sit cross-legged next to a large window
sunshine beaming on my body 
listening to the resplendent hum of the train 
and the music of the sounds around me: 
people's voices
"it's beautiful,
it's beautiful..."
a woman behind me is talking about colleges 
I see the mountains looming larger 
this landscape of my dreams 
the love affair hidden in my heart since I first arrived 
and left
and arrived again 
a come-and-go sort of love 
that is perhaps not physically present 
but is always felt in the heart
I feel this with you, oh Desert
and, Taiwan 
and, New England... 
and, with so many places! 
this is my plight as a traveler 
my gift as a traveler 
to be always in love
with the entire world 
yet also always feeling 
a certain reminiscence 
for that which is not here 
well, I am here now 
landscape rolling by, 
train sounds, sunlight, 
warmth of body and mind, 
heart singing,
soul soaring
headed from East to West, 
around and around
there is a Path
I can't quite see it 
but I know it's there
dipping and diving 
under the trees and bushes 
of my imagination 
yet also in front of me 
as I run through the forest
of my mind 
remembering small foot paths
of deer
large American deer
small Taiwanese deer 
and coyote 

sunset sky 
rainbows stretching across the 
darkening landscape
we've been rolling all day 
the morning passed by quickly, 
dreaming about herbal concoctions 
doodling into my notebook while listening to 
blaring electronica on headphones 
afternoon passed by quickly 
talking to another artist
composing a book, just starting on his cross-country trans-global travels
infused by desert essence 
now, evening 
monoliths unseen outside of the window 
i will wake to california
my home state 
even before the sun rises 
i will land in time to 
hear the morning birdsong 
roll across the land 
and greet my parents
with a smile 
than even the sun 
and climb my mountains of youth
to greet the rising sun 
or at least setting--- we'll see how the day goes--- 
with arms upraised and chest wide open 
but for tonight
landscape rolls by 
we are almost into arizona 
almost all the way across the country
3.5 day journey
fellow trainmates become familiar faces 
each heading to their own homes 
for the holydays 

Jiling . 林基玲 
  626.344.9140 / 607.262.0302