One by one thoughts come loose from their track.
They plunge like tumbling rail cars over a cliff
and into the bottomless void below.
There will be no welcoming afterlife for them,
no well-earned heaven, nor torment of hell.
They simply return to that same empty space
from which they arose, but worn down now,
like tired old men who have seen it all
and have no enthusiasm for seeing more.
Still, there are always new thoughts arising —
shifting and jiving impatiently at the station,
eagerly anticipating the very next train.
Maybe this will finally be the one
that actually arrives at a destination,
a train which manages to get somewhere.
Although it never really does, the new thoughts
remain youthfully optimistic, like naive children
they’re irrepressible, the future can look so hopeful!
The train trip will always start out fine —
there’s blue sky ahead, there are places to go,
so much to consider and thoughtfully dwell on!
Alas, it’s only a matter of time before the wheels
begin to wobble and the next thing you know
the whole blessed thing is coming apart.
Every thought is exactly like that.
Pay attention, you’ll see what I mean.
There are those who’ll try to stop the train
rather than letting it run its course.
They wave their flags, they flash their signs.
They don’t last long — stay off the tracks!
The wise let the trains travel on, indifferent
to their inevitable fate — why bother to interfere,
just relax as each narrative crumbles and disappears.
Make of it whatever you may, thoughts roll on
and they always will, but as it travels ‘round the bend,
don’t be surprised when that train story ends.