Sunday, March 27, 2016

27.3.16 (#86) Bus to Happiness by Myron Lysenko (ta Lizz)

(Inspired by Lizz Murphy)

At the bus terminal
the queue to catch a ride to Happiness
was long and disorderly;
people chatted and laughed.
I had bought a ticket
to Poetry Lakes
but that bus was empty,
the door was locked
and there was no driver.

So I stood at the end
of the queue to Happiness
pretending I belonged there.
An inspector asked to see
my ticket and my hand trembled
as I held it out to her.
She glanced at the ticket
and looked into my eyes
until I lowered them.

You know your ticket
doesn’t go to Happiness,
she said, not today.
She adjusted her hat.
Does my ticket
pass through Happiness, I asked.
Yes, but the bus doesn’t stop there. 
But the bus to Poetry Lakes
has broken down, I said.

I don’t know why
they sold you that ticket,
she said. Did you tell them
you wanted to travel today?
She touched my shoulder.
It’s ok, she said, hop on
this bus and get off at Happiness
then walk up that steep hill,
away from the town.

Follow the road to the cemetery.
You’ll find your destination
at the top, the view is amazing there.
The people in the queue
had been listening in
and when the inspector left
they all remained silent.
I couldn’t look at them.
I heard them breathing.


  1. Terrific poem Myron, thanks Lizz for the inspiration.

  2. Myron does the nonet label refer to the nine lines only or are there more elements that a non-musician might miss - interested. I love this poem with its sorrowful layers.

    1. Hi Lizz. I just call them nonets because of their stanza lengths. Thank you for inspiring me. This poem would not have been written if I didn't have yours to respond to, so thank you very much! I will try this one out at the Melbourne Poets Union reading tomorrow night. We'll say how the poets respond to it.


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