Pages

Saturday, September 17, 2011

TRAINS TODAY




Trains today run
red and cold;
long, brown boxed
oiled black and yellow
b¬¬ellow over strips of steel.

Masters once of power,
now not so bold.
Slow cross land
strain and whine
riverside
  ride once rich country
stripped down in such short time.

Octopus lines, its tentacles cut
hauls the freight
“too expensive”, says the man,
“to cater to the folks,
they flies now.”

Once so much a master,
now you are the slave,
you, who once inspired the blues
can sing them
Slowowowow
and mournful--

down the line.


Amtrak is in business in the US, but trains don't move people here as they once did; the country is vast. We either drive or fly now. They say there are plans to change that. Time will tell. Some of us go to Europe just to ride the trains (and enjoy their stations!)


OK...Natasha's poem made me decide to post this.  I love it.  This makes me shed a little tear too..what a sap!




© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved

28 comments:

  1. i just love "Octopus lines, its tentacles cut
    hauls the freight" but...that sounds like you've been flying over train yards?

    ReplyDelete
  2. i feel so privileged to live in europe and that i'm able to ride all these trains...they are still so powerful over here gay...in another way...want to ride the TGV from Basel to Paris in the near future...and there are many more...recently rode the train from rome to grosseto and from basel to strasbourg... basel to hamburg...magical train rides. so glad you linked up such a beautiful poem gay...much love your way

    ReplyDelete
  3. it is so sad that there really are few passenger trains still avl...would love to take a train trip as i think it truly romantic...now it is just freight...perhaps once more i should jump a train....

    ReplyDelete
  4. @zongrik - "octopus" an allusion to a book written by Frank Norris about California Ranchers and the railroad that wraps around them and robs them of years of hard work. It portrayed the time in the US when train companies ruled, and today they've fallen very low and only exist as mergers, beautiful train stations gone, picturesque ones turned into little town banks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah, I got those passengerless train blues - who doesn't, these days ... relegated to someone else's -- the Man's -- freight. Fine poem, Gay. - Brendan

    ReplyDelete
  6. A lot of history ran along those rails--sad to see it as it is today. Your poem has that late night mournful sound, Gay, and now when I hear one passing, I'll know it's a train with the blues.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This made me really sad: "Octopus lines, its tentacles cut
    hauls the freight
    “too expensive”, says the man,
    “to cater to the folks,
    they flies now.”"

    I sometimes wish non-main city folk could travel more by train instead of plane, buses and cars, but alas... Those were the older days lost.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Once so much a master,
    now you are the slave

    nice.....

    ReplyDelete
  9. The rise and fall of train transportation - I'm reminded of the tiems when the railroads had a stranglehold on farmers - gave birth to the populist movement and William Jennings Bryan.

    Good poem, Gay.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful poem.....wish we could travel more by trains. It is the experience I miss.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Octopus lines, its tentacles cut
    hauls the freight...
    ...
    Once so much a master,
    now you are the slave,

    you got me hearing the train in the rhythm of the lines and sounds of words,
    time tunnel
    and blues.

    ReplyDelete
  12. A beautiful swan song for the glorious hey day of trains as grand adventure carriages!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your words really pulled me in, great write! ~ Rose

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love the slowowowowow! I love to travel by train, and took amtrak from Detroit to San Antonio a few years ago...so glad I did. I also remember traveling by train from Detroit to California when I was five years old! Really enjoyed your poem, Gay. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. So interesting Gay.. great way of capturing a train moment... blues mournful down the line..

    ReplyDelete
  16. I hate how time changes some of the best parts of history. Maybe someone will revive passenger trains as you said. And, love Johnny Cash. Such an amazing man.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gay-- first let me thank you for your most wonderful comment on my poem. I have often taken poetic license with family history and the Codingtons came into New Mexico Territory in the late 1800's, one Minnie Codington marrying my great-grandfather, Bernard S. Rodey, who founded the University of New Mexico. I hope to revive more of our history with names and some circumstances changed as time goes on.

    Your poem is rich and evocative-- it made me think that trains, with other iconic images, have served to make our world familiar to us; although I often bitch about the ones that come through our city in the middle of the day, I always feel my spirits lift when I hear them.

    I especially love:

    Trains today run
    red and cold;
    long, brown boxed
    oiled black and yellow
    b­­ellow over strips of steel.

    beautiful!

    xxJenne'

    ReplyDelete
  18. A train ride is romantic so says many but the irony of it is that it is still very tiring. Very good run through history!

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  19. you, who once inspired the blues
    can sing them
    Slowowowow
    and mournful--
    down the line

    Great close and thanks for Johnny!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Trains are full going up and down the California Coast. Yes, lots of freight lines as well. I would love to board a train to Montana and Dakotas. I think the blues were invented on the trains. Great poem

    ReplyDelete
  21. Slowowowow
    and mournful

    ooh... I liked that. Beautiful write... with sadness. Never heard that song before. Still remember puttin' my ear to the track. Thanks Gay.

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's a perfect shift to have the train sing the blues as the system slows and slows. We would love to see a commuter line between Detroit and Grand Rapids, but I doubt it will ever happen now. A fine, tight poem.

    And yes, it is so great to meet you at last! Thank you for the wonderful poets pub.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I feel the locomotion (not so slow) all the way through your poem...thanks for the ride.

    ReplyDelete
  24. When I moved in where I live now, I would hear the trains only once or twice a night, from across the yard and road. Now they seem to run hourly all night long, commuters and freight.

    Am assuming at least for this area, the popularity is increasing again. They have even restored the old western station in a town across the valley from me.

    ReplyDelete
  25. i enjoyed your poem very much as well as that cash song:)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Feels a bit different from you here? A departure (on a train ha)? Like the feel of this piece. Free, casual; not better, just different. (I'd be inclined to left-align rather than centre it though :)

    Excellent as ever my friend

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love this. It reads so musically. Gives me a shiver and makes my eyes wet.

    ReplyDelete