Burning Path

by    /  December 9, 2020  / Comments Off on Burning Path

by Richard Schnap

The train from Pittsburgh to New York
Felt like a magic voyage to him then
As he watched the green pastures of Pennsylvania
Pass by with their fields of wheat
And herds of cows that dozed in the sun,
Ornaments in the model landscape
Of a child deity who created a world
Designed to last forever, perfect and untouched.

But when he reached Philadelphia
The train suddenly stopped, starting up
Again but in reverse, as if moving
Backwards through time, before his birth,
To a previous life in a nightmare tableaux
Of oil refineries and fire-belching factories,
Headed for the temples of an older god
Whose mad realm never stayed the same.

Richard Schnap was a Pittsburgh poet, songwriter, and collagist. He was a two-time nominee for The Best of the Net award. His poems have appeared locally, nationally, and overseas in a variety of print and online publications. His chapbook A Wind From Nowhere was published by Flutter Press. His collages can be seen at richardschnap.com. His songs can be heard here. Richard passed in 2016; his partner, Alice Winn, submitted this poem in his memory.

City of Asylum believes that All Pittsburghers are Poets. With the Poem of the Week series, we seek to increase the readership and appreciation of poetry locally by publishing poems written by residents of Allegheny County of all ages and levels of experience. In partnership with the Poetry Editors at Sampsonia Way Magazine, City of Asylum advances our mission to defend, celebrate, and build on creative freedom of expression. This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).

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