In The Blink Of An Eye
With clashing of steel the metal horse flies
crunching and grinding, along as the rail sighs.
Fire flies, sparking beneath the alloy wheels,
metal on steel causing tortured squeals.
Roundel hooves making symmetrical locomotion,
hissing and panting overcoming any friction.
Steaming breath from the furnace burning
pushing and panting into pistons pumping.
Steam and smoke from the engine belching,
funnel wails its banshees siren screaming.
The iron steed drives forward picking up speed
fire filled heart released, unfettered, freed.
Clattering of rhythmic drumbeat resounding
echo the sound of a thousand cattle stampeding.
Roaring through fields in the blink of an eye
charging at speed, iron steed rushes by.
Hurrying past villages a quick hallo and adieu,
hills, fields, forests, and valleys passed through.
No slowing of pace the miles flyby
following the course of a river nearby.
Through tunnels, over bridges, the road crossings rattle,
a quick blast of horn scaring the sheep and the cattle.
Acknowledging the children who stood happily waving
at the thrill of seeing this iron horse passing.
Wind from the engine whips the sheets on a line,
in a garden right next to the rails mainline.
Passing an old man resting on a wooden turnstile
just stopped to view the countryside awhile.
Gradient rises gently slowing the trains speed,
the load behind him making it hard to succeed.
There is the summit the horse gains the crest
and rushes down slope never any time to rest.
The seven thirty seven cannot be late
must reach the town by eight twenty eight.
Slowing to a crawl at the city’s edge,
trudging by houses, shops and a cemetery hedge.
The bank manger in bowler hat and brolly
can set his watch by this old steam trolley.
The church with it's tall weathervane steeple,
cars and buses and all sorts of people.
The workman to work, the children to school
or the teenagers stood chatting or acting the fool.
Mums pushing prams off to do the shopping chore,
the giggling girl holding hands with the boy next door.
All of them seen in the blink of an eye
as the train moves onwards just passing by.
Huffing and puffing, screeching of hot brakes,
steel wheels on rails momentum gradually slakes.
As the magnificent steed slows it headlong flight
around the turn and the station draws into sight.
His journey done the metallic horse waits,
on the return journey he's towing loaded coal freights.
The old steam trains have long since passed
viewed in museums, part of our historical past.
The clattering, rattling, iron horse is laid to rest
replacing romance with the high speed express.
By Tracey Owen & R.B.Rueby
copyright June 2011
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