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Death in Transdanubia

by John Stocks

I arrived in Budapest still dreaming,
Nestled between this world and another,
Immersed in events that I must half know:
A stranger’s suicide, down-rail at Gyor.

The thud as the body hit the train
From two strings, one dehumanizing sound,
Then, trapped briefly in an unknown town.

And I know nothing of real loneliness,
Simultaneously stranded and at home;
‘Gyor’ its world and mine colliding briefly
In a view of birch trees, a cemetery
A smile at the window, flickering candles,
An angel trespassing on mortal thought.

And it would come to pass, inevitably I suppose,
That this time of random synchronicities,
Should be logged in my consciousness,
Forever ascribed some significance
After I tracked it down on Google,
No longer in the middle of nowhere
But halfway between Budapest and Vienna.

I thought then about this interrupted life
And wondered if there had been sweeter moments,
Perhaps standing on Kaptalan Hill,
Gazing towards a dreamy, distant Danube,
Ecstatic, tingling with first-formed love?
And if I should really grieve
For the tragic death of an unknown stranger
So briefly exposed by my German train.

Copyright © 2013 by John Stocks

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