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Steam and Gasoline

Poetry By: silver 84

Went to a steam show today with my Briggs and Stratton WM from the 1930's. I really enjoyed it and thought up the bit with the oak trees there. NOTE!! I have never tasted nicotine or smoked, just thought I'd make that clear.

Submitted:Jul 27, 2013    Reads: 65    Comments: 4    Likes: 2   

Wake up early on Friday morning.

Walk to the shed where we've been storing

Our treasures.

Economy engine from the nineteen hundreds,

Briggs and Stratton from the nineteen thirties,

Hearing them run gives me so much pleasure.

We load up the truck, backbreaking work.

This old iron sure isn't light.

Drive off to the fairground, stay till it's night.


The black smoke is thick,

The smoke of coal.

Doesn't make me sick at all.

To me it's more addicting than nicotine's draw.

The Fricks and Cases all belching their sweet smoke and steam,

Eight tons of iron, they could move the earth if they pleased.

Gas engines running, the fumes of their exhaust mixing beautifully

With that sweet smoke of coal.

And the smell of gasoline,

Like sweet nectar on my mind.

It's like a perfume that mixes with that lovely grime

Of oil and grease.

Walking through the displays under the tall oak trees,

The sunlight shining through their big green leaves,

To rest on the dappled fairground's lawns.

Hearing all the engines singing out their sweet songs.


My American flag bandanna tied tight around my head,

Proud to be one,

Looking upon all we've done

Throughout our great history.

Steam engines, gasoline and tractors,

All those innovations that brought us great glory.

The charisma of an old Ford, John Deere or Frick

Draws me like kerosene to a wick.

Or smaller things, Hercules, Briggs and Economy,

All hallmarks through our history.

You can feel the craftsmanship in all of these,

They have souls, just like you and me.

But they've all been replaced by cheap plastic,

Their strong builds of iron is nearly forgot

Their human ingenuity being replaced by soulless computers.

Such a big change, so drastic.

Hard work and craftsmanship, being replaced by robots on an assembly line.

It's such a crime.

Innovation isn't what it used to be, the people from way back then changed the world.

We are just shadows of what was.

The flower of our creativity had completely unfurled.


And that's why,

As I smell the gas and coal,

See the iron and steel.

I feel so at peace.

It's like my portal back to a better time, a better place.

But now, the world is taking this away from me.

Soon, all too soon, these majestic reminders of our great society

Will be condemned for scrap,

By popular demand.

Taking away my gateway to the great land

Of the past.

The coal and gas will be all gone,

Replaced by electric and wind.

All our implements and vehicles will be characterless, soulless fiends.

Forgetting our cheerful, energetic friends

Of old.

They are now just an empty shell, not something that lives and breathes.


Seeing a Frick pulling six tons of concrete,

Seeing the glorious black smoke rush all around,

As its metal wheels tear into the ground.

Hear the safety valve scream,

Keeping the boiler at one fifty psi of steam,

Hearing the whistle shriek in triumph for all to enjoy,

I can't help a tear to come to my eye as I smile so broadly.

For I know, before my life is over, it all will be gone.

Shredded, melted, the beasts from the past

To make tin cans, or metal siding that won't last.

Such a cruel fate for such majestic things.

And that's why I enjoy every minute

Of my precious steam show.

For I know.

It's taking its last breaths.


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