Standing in the Open Door of a Train Watching the Countryside (a poem)

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A poem in variable meter and semi-free verse. Written in the spirit of not being bound by strict convention. To be read aloud, as always.

Standing in the Open Door of a Train, Watching the Countryside Roll By

India, ages ago.
First Class bogie,
Teen me.

Leaning against the open steel door,
Long corridor and linoleum floor.
Wind in my face, shirt flapping like a sail,
One hand gripping a vertical handrail.

No one around, myself for company,
Countryside slipping by languidly.
Train running at a fair pace, clackety-clack,
Green fields, curving track.

The far-off engine rushes confidently,
Boss of the land, planes’ and ships’ envy,
Emphasised with stentorian horn blare occasionally,
Mirroring the confident carefree youth in me.

Carriages undulate caterpillar-like around S bends,
The locomotive disappears and reappears fascinatingly,
Over frenetic wheels and under smoke trailing lazily.

Electric lines run alongside companionably,
Their glinting arcs falling and rising gracefully,
Kept aloft by insulators shining whitely.

Tiny scattered huts, hills, and dells,
Uninterested cows and goats with swinging bells.
Distant villagers working yards and wells.

So little for them to see.
So much to savour for me.

Connect with me!


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