Freight Train Lullaby
Copyright (c) 1980, 1992, 2000 Azar Attura

               On lonely nights when the dark is deep,
               And all the world
               Is fast asleep

I hear a whistle in the black
Of freight train,
on a faraway track........

The mournful whistle, wrapped in gloom
Deepens the night's shade
in my room

And stirs my soul with visions wide
Of speeding train
and dark country-side.........

Ensconced in a boxcar, I'd like to be --
Watching the whole world
drift by me:

Tenement and mountain shack,
   of railroad track.

The lonely whistle sounds again
As the train
goes slowly 'round the bend,

To disappear beyond the trees
And wail again
   in another breeze.
  - - - - - - - - - - -

Photograph @  1968, 1980, 1992, 2000
Azar Attura

A Walk With My Dad -- the Bronx, 1951
Copyright (c) 2000 Azar Attura

                         When things are bleak and I want to frown
                         I shade my eyes and I look straight down
                        A distant street from old Bronx days
                        Where my Dad and I walked in sun and haze.

                        He held my hand, I was only five
                        And it felt so good to be alive
                        The grass was green, the sidewalks bright;
                        I'd run and skip with all my might!

                        Osage Orange trees would drop their fruit
                        In the autumn, it was such a hoot
                        To see these huge "limes" on the sidewalks there
                        All wrinkled and strange....little Ace would stare!

     But I'd skip and I'd sing on those sidewalks gleaming
     With fresh washed sunlight -- almost like dreaming!
     And Dad was always solid, there -
     Those were the times with not a care!

     To my right -- a big fence and a beautiful lawn
     And -- piano music, so sweet and strong!
     Such glorious notes soaring in the air --
     The Institute for the Blind was situated there.

     I marveled at the sightless song
     That has played in my memory for so long
     Such beauty from one who could never see
     Made more beauty surrounding us, my Daddy and me

     So when I feel like I want to frown.
     (Hey, Ace, don't let life get you down!)
     I remember the beauty of that far-away song
     And my Daddy and me near that beautiful lawn.

     Bless you, unknown pianist who dwelled in shade
     I want to tell you that you made
     Such a difference in my life back then
     I give thanks to you, when I "Remember When".

     Azar "Ace" Attura
     Pelham Parkway 1946 -- 1961 -- God Bless the Bronx!!!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

For more poems,
    Click on Elvira----->
CLICK on photo to read about Elvira - a 1960 Elva Courier, Ace's prized possession
Return to Aces Pages

Monday's Journey To Friday
Copyright © 2000 Azar Attura

  Catching the bus.  Gotta wake up first. 
  Webs of dreams cling to me like blankets. Semi-comatose wakeup call. 
  Feed the cats. No time to feed me.
  Larry's Cookies for breakfast again. Four creams in Hazelnut Coffee.
  Such are my morning mega vitamins.

  Waiting for bus. Still asleep on my feet.
  Discreetly making sure I'm fully dressed. 
  Cool today. No time to zip up jacket. 
  Bus'll be warm. Natch.

  Hello hello, sit down, read read, pull buzzer. Stumble out rear door 
  Did you know if you hold the rear door open, the bus can't move?
  (Unless the driver hits the override). Good way to get back at nasty drivers 
  "Hey driver, I'm outta here -- you'll move when  I  say you move!!" Tee hee.

  Walking past multicolor bushes flanking Macy*s (yes we have one down here!)
  The side of the building providing comforting bulk of presence.
  Hello Macy*s, I'm broke -- where's your sub-basement???
  (I was almost born in Macy*s Manhattan -- would I have been a bargain?)

  Putting one foot after the other.  Slowly waking up. 
  Destination -- Metro "Subway" station straight ahead.
  Wind picks up.  Feels like rain.
  Walking through oily slog of humid day. 
  Fresh pastry smells wafting through manhole grates from under-street bakeries. 
  Giants at work at the ovens, cooking lost souls wrapped in croissant dough.

  Early morning felines, front-porch sitting.
  Watching me, wind blowing hard against grain of cats' fur.
  Kitty smiles giving way to stern impassive dour teddy-bear expressions.
  Go back inside, you should be sleeping.  Mine are.

  Am I gonna be late? Nah -- not ready to hit the office yet.
  Metro can wait a while longer. Escalate down to mall food court.
  Briefcase cast aside for snack food. 
  The oily crunch of Terra Chips.  Aromatic crustiness.

  Licking fingers while escalating to surface.
  Street noises, street smells, rush hour.
  Sniff Sniff.  Pollution day today. 
  One smokestack = 50,000 cars or 10,000 buses, whichever comes first.

  Can't wait for Tuesday........

Click The Text Below, to read:

The Day I Met TWO Angels

Ace Meets Jimmy Breslin, April 3, 2002

"Building in the Aftermath of Ground Zero"
"9/11 - A first Person Account, Washington DC"
Black Panther, Bronx Zoo, July 2001
© 2002 Azar "Ace" Attura

Sitting in majestic man-made glass lair,
treed canopy, jungle vines
In the Bronx.
I meditate on your majesty.

Warm Black pelt of pride, melanistic spots
Green eyes like liquid pools
of deep dark jungle floor.
I run with you.

Your gaze may be of bars
But your heart runs forever free.

Take me with you.

Visit "Big Cats On LIne" to learn more
This picture is from "Big Cats On Line"
Please visit the site and learn more about savng our endangered species
Who's this cute little kid? It's ACE, in....Arlington VA (1955). You didn't know I wuz a citizen of two countries? (the Bronx AND Arlington VA)
CLICK on the photo !
For Arlington    Memories,
look below..
Sept 1955. Standing in front of where the Hair Cuttery is now, Col Pike just before Glebe Road. Check out that AB&W bus!!
HEY -- YOU!!