Stray Dogs & Freight Trains

They toll the bell before first light, I wake up in a dream

The bark and call of strays all night, a meditation theme

A modest place to lay my head, the Old Yogi Lodge

Not far from where they burn the dead, quite the crude ménage

The natives stop and stare at me, perhaps I’m out of place

It’s merely curiosity, in time, they’ll know my face

Never been this far away from home, I’m oddly at ease

Like monkeys, I feel free to roam, to do just as I please

I’m here to meet myself divine, lost in a sacred space

Those with less still seem to shine, with dignity and grace

The kindness of a friend from home, an unexpected gift

He’ll soon be right enough to OM, spirits will get a lift

I can hear the whistle blow, a chant along the tracks

Vibrations that I’ve come to know, a mystical climax

The smell of spice warms my soul, a taste of all things new

Some rupees for a singing bowl, and fried parathas, too

Awakened by familiar sounds, I reach for my new shawl

It’s time for us to make the rounds, be still at dharma hall

I orient as moments flee, I’m laughing at myself

Because here I am back in DC, Siddhartha on my shelf


Terrance McNeill