Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Story Poem for Chuck on his Birthday

photo © Mark Butkus 2008

The train pulled in and out,
In and out, of the station,
But it never seemed to go anywhere.

I sat in the old station for years,
In the middle row of empty seats,
Wondering what would happen
If it ever left.

I don´t count the time as wasted,
I did learn a thing or two
About myself and the world I lived in.
Plus, I kinda liked watching it go back and forth.

Then, you came in the door,
And pointed out
That I´d never bought a ticket.
And you bought one for me.

The train pulled out
And left the station behind,
Rattlin´ down the tracks.
We only had vague and imaginary knowledge
About the next stop,
Much like now,
And we knew nothin´ about
What lay beyond.

As I remember,
It broke down a few times,
But always seemed to manage
To get a head of steam back up again.
We reminisced about by-gone days
As we watched the country-side roll by.

Then, at that last stop,
You got off the train and waved goodbye,
And told me you´d meet me,
Further up the track.

The train is still chuggin´ along.
I haven’t got to where it´s going yet.
I don´t know how far my ticket will take me,
But I intend to enjoy the ride
For as far as it goes.
Then, I suspect,
It will pull into some station,
In someplace I´ve never been,
And there you´ll be,
Sittin´ in the middle of a row
Of empty seats,
with a six-pack of Victoria beer.

And perhaps,
I will be able to buy the tickets this time,
And return the gift
Of your kindness and friendship.


— Russell Rosander


Las Parotas, Barra de Navidad
Nov. 10, 2013

"Take Two" book launch October 2012. Russell Rosander, Mark Butkus, Charles Longstreet.

Glasses will be raised today to honor the memory of Charles Longstreet (1947-2013). Father. Friend. Dharma Bum of Barra de Navidad. Co-founder of the Bar None Group. As with his passing in June we turn to his best friend of more than 40 years — Russell Rosander — to help us mark the occasion of his birth.

Not only was Chuck the impetus for these online pages and two anthologies of English writing from the Costalegre region of Mexico he brought together people through his love of poetry. While Chuck was the life of the party his poetry took you to another place, a place formed by his experiences in Southeast Asia in the 1960s and of his adopted home in Barra de Navidad, Mexico in the 2000s.

These are the poems that Chuck has shared with us:


el verano

night vision

I, of the Storm

Subject: Barra

Hotel Caribe


I will always remember Chuck through this poem.

Salud hermano!