Sane and Cheerful

from by Miriam Marston

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On the train from Paddington to Harrow,
I'm a little bit tired but I'm still attentive.
And the sights I normally would ignore
put a charm on a few of my sleepy senses.
At a station pausing for a while,
can't help but wonder why, since it looks like
nobody lives here, "but someone does, dear",
a little voice inside me says.
So maybe the secret ties are the very things that keep us sane and cheerful,
a little more kind and tearful.
I caught the world in a lie when it told me it could give me
everything I wanted, anything I wanted, anything at all.
From a long way off I start to notice
all the people with their animated faces at the dinner table.
and the four lights grinning in a small town
put a stop to the thought that I'd rather be anywhere else.
Conversations that I'll never know, this train has far to go,
but still, I wanted some share, I could have lived there,
if my life had taken a different turn...
I could have sworn that I was
only just a moment ago alone in my own small space.
In strange ways, it's the dull days that make us face what really matters...


from The Luggage of an Optimist, released September 10, 2010



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Miriam Marston Portland, Oregon

I started composing when I was 10. I called one of my first songs "Nostalgia", although I can't recall what my ten year old self was so nostalgic about. Recorded my first album in 2000, and I waited only ten years to release a second. Things got busy, but I never stopped writing. Even if it meant composing on a mostly-broken piano in a cold basement of a university that I wasn't even enrolled in. ... more

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