Twenty-four hour train ride

South to North along the East Coast

Flora so subtle

Palms disappearing

As soil segues

From blond beach to rusty red

South to North

Like pushing off from the sandy

Floor of the sea

Moving toward the surface

Can feel the elevations while

“At sea level” alters

Coquina, crushed seashells, predominant

To a dramatic change

As the flora opens its verdant curtains

To reveal rock, schist,

Majestic, metamorphic rock!


How I envy the nomads of the past

Plains Indians and even my own Romani ancestors

Wintering at sea level

Summering in the rampantly rising, cooling rocks

Now I gaze out the train window

Seeing bogs of trash, some old furniture

Littering the tracks

Now I see pokeberries in Virginia

Just like the ones in my Florida swamp

Red stalks the giveaway

Now I ride the trestles and gaze downward

Seeing creeks, lakes and even the tops of trees



Despite trash and murky water

Despite it all

This is still beautiful country

Regeneration is possible

And I peer into the woods

Lining the track

Feeling the healing vibrations

Of magma, lava

A celebration of elevation


The beauty of a northern journey…


© Clarissa Simmens (Viata Maja)

IMAGE:  Heritage Railroad Trail (Howard Tunnel, Pennsylvania), Wikipedia


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