In Transit: Part I (A Collaboration)

My photographer-writer friend Tom and I have been batting around the idea of an artistic collaboration for quite some time now. With the onset of externally imposed limitations of movement, there are no more excuses, and only time to sit down and put this art out there in the world. Over a series of posts in the next week or so, we will be sharing a photography-poetry cycle, featuring his images and my words. All this gorgeous, inspiring photography is Tom’s work. All the poetry in this cycle has been written during COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions.

But first, a bit about the artists: Tom Darin Liskey was born in Missouri but spent nearly a decade working as a journalist in Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. His poetry, fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The Red Truck Review, Deep South, Driftwood Press, Biostories, Spelk, Heartwood among others. His narrative and documentary photography has been published in The Museum of Americana, Change 7, The Blue Mountain Review, Cowboy Jamboree, Literary Life and Midwestern Gothic, among others. He lives in Texas. Connect with him on Instagram at tomdarin.l and

Read more about me (Kelly Belmonte) over here.

I. Transit


I know you, man:
Your hat claiming all
the space, your bulk,
your boots, the scent
of land clinging to denim
sprawled across two seats
on the bus to anywhere
but here. Been there.
I can’t tell you
it will be any better
where you’re going. But
I wish you all the things
I couldn’t wish for myself
when I curved into
the back of that same bus
with nothing but a spare
pair of socks
and a toothbrush.
This bus, man,
it does not represent Hope.
It is Hope. And you –
You take it all the way
down the line.


II. Distance


The miles you drove for
this slice of space and silence
around your worried life

Yet there’s a crowd
in your pew: you
and all your prayers.

III. Church


Maybe tomorrow
I’ll step up and into
Sanctuary. Today,
the intricate symmetries
of shadow upon stairs,
and my artless,
careless feet
carry me

15 Replies to “In Transit: Part I (A Collaboration)”

  1. In this time of disunity, it is at once encouraging and soothing to have unity in art. You have shown the bond between photography and poetry and the subsequent symmetry in metaphor and imagery.
    Thanks for the needed comfort.

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