Tag Archives: train-poems

Hank Williams & the Ghost Train – Ryk McIntyre

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The train whistle in the distance is my word for loneliness,
a whisper in the wilderness, a ghost that never rests.
But here I am, in this bed alone,
so who am I to judge?
As if I could ever sound that sad.
As if I could articulate that much.

On the good days I remember the velocity of her smile.
That's something of a disadvantage, this deep in denial.
I pull back on the emotional brakes, but I'm broken-down and broke.
I'm not so lonesome I could cry,
but I suppose that I can hope.
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Sad Barge/Sick Animal – William James

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for Manchester, NH

The midnight sky looks down on the Merrimack 
			& the train horn blows. If you stood even a mile 
		west, you could feel the strain & pop of the couplers 

			as they strain against the pull, but in this city 
	the train passes through beneath the high moon 
				& the only sound that carries to this sleepy apartment 

window above Beech is that distant haunt song. 
			That far off freight cry, the ancient groaning - 
		too far away to hear the whine of steel wheels 

				against the rail, the rattling clank of coal cars 
swallowed by the pitch. A feast of sound. 
		Some long distance harpist is pulling at strings, 
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Rail Yard – Matthew Bayne

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this rail yard
this crumbling 
copper place
that lost nickel 
gone black in the gravel
and the dust on those stones
in this wilting heat
in the place where you work
those dirty dandelions
that lonely coneflower
some clover, unlucky
couple of crows heckling
those sparrows
those yard birds
pecking for what
this splintered sleeper
the sting-finger creosote
spikes for the tie plate
bolts for the joint bar, tool tight
soot soaked spade for ballast
swing the heavy sledge
true and level lines, your work
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Undone Yet – Sou Macmillan

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40 strong and drunk as 100 on fury
Lean with the fighting but well fed
We march together
We have the tools for this - 
                              black ink and vacuum tubes
                              telegraphs and two wicked beat boxers
                              a shovel & a good knife
We have a mind turned for fixing things
We bury our own dead
Sister Machine, wife of The Engine, leads us
She sweats oil, I swear
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