Empty Train

Empty Train

Empty Train

I was sitting in the park today

Reading a good book

Watching my young children play

I heard the sound of the approaching train

Off in the distance

Beyond the river


The train came by

Crossing the river on the great, high bridge

Making quite the commotion

Stopping the traffic

Turning heads

No longer reading, I felt a notion


Then I noticed something


The engines were pulling nothing

Nothing but empty cars

No goods

No solutions

Nothing, nothing at all

Just empty car after empty car

Disrupting the placidity of the afternoon


At first I thought

“What a waste,

What a waste of time, of resources

What a waste to haul nothing around at all.

All this nothing cacophony disturbing our thrall.”


But then I thought, “What if they are returning the emptiness

To the place where it can be filled again?”

What if wisdom, our eternal friend,

Is trying to teach me to see things in a whole new way?

What if wisdom is trying to say

“Don’t assume all of this emptiness is a waste”?


Sometimes I have to give up the less I’m holding onto

In order to grasp the more

Sometimes I have to carry my emptiness

To a place where I can be filled again, implore

I must cross the rivers, traverse the mountains

Find someone with whom I can be a friend

Make plenty of noise for all to know


My emptiness is there for fulness to flow

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Fascinating questions and ideas, Duane. Buddhist teachings say emptiness is to be strived for: the ultimate goal. But (there’s always a “but”) what about right action, doing what matters? And doing what you need to do for yourself, to show yourself kindness? And then again, what if your actions are simply busy work, hiding the truth? In the end, I definitely agree with one Buddhist concept, I know I think too much. 😃 (Fabulous photography of course.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it is good to be “full” as long as it is meant for others. I can’t give what I don’t have. This event happened yesterday, and I knew it was one of those teaching moments for me. I’m not sure I captured it, but that’s ok. I think the pursuit of emptiness might have validity as long as I empty of what keeps me from wholeness so I can take on what makes me whole. Goodness, gracious maybe I know too much as well. That’s a lot of words. 😀😀😀. Again, thanks for the thoughtful comments and the encouraging words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ZurkPoetry says:

    This is so amazing. As you can see I’ve been having a wander about your blog, and this is my favourite poem of yours so far. An upside down look at emptiness, I never thought of learning from what isn’t there. Great poem, I really loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Glad you liked it. I learned a lot myself from writing it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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