Being Here Now

Zen and the Art of Marathon Railway Transport

Composed between 3 and 4 AM
while trapped on an overnight train trip in 1996

I am Being Here Now.
On a train, Being Now.
I am Now being traveling.
Southward is how.
Condemned by bad luck
To a twenty-hour trip,
I am Being Here Now
So I won't lose my grip.

By all rights I should be
In the air overhead
Zooming ten times as fast.
I am Here Now instead.
I had tickets to ride
In a plane in the sky,
But some snow intervened
And my plans went awry.

When I was where I was,
I wasn't There Then.
My thoughts were of where
I was going, and when.
And once I've arrived
At the place where I'm due,
I suspect I'll forget
To keep Being There, too.

It takes some resolve
For a fellow to dwell
Where one should. In the Present.
I don't dwell There well.
My brain spins persistently
Out of control.
I may Be where I Am,
But in body, not soul.

If I just had a mantra
To drone and repeat
While I thought of the skin
On my fingers and feet
And assumed odd positions
To free up my spine,
Then this seating that Amtrak provides
Might be fine.

Today's trains do not clatter
The way that trains did
As they rattled through Springville
When I was a kid.
Today's trains do not jostle,
Just drift too and fro
As inside, I am Going
Here Now with the flow.

(Well, I'm pleased to report
That I just saw a cow.
I was whizzing along.
She was Mooing There Now.
Although present tense briefly,
Her tense now is past.
One who's Being Here Now
Has to Be it real fast!)

It does a soul good,
Meditating, I'm told.
It is not a new fad.
As a fad, it's quite old.
It's been done by the priestly
On high mountain peaks.
It's been done by their devotees,
Often for weeks.

Throughout all of time,
There've been sages galore
Busy Being There Now
(As opposed to Before).
I think I'll be like them.
Here Now I will be
Just as soon as I've snuck
Down the aisle for a pee.

©1998 by Howard Cruse
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