10 December 2010

The Railway Line

Photo ~ Diana Matisz
Veering from the path of safety
footsteps fall on dangerous ground
rife with the broken stones
of dreams.

A long lonely wail
approaching from behind
announces the arrival
of one last chance.

The train slows
as the engineer waves
and reaches out a hand
an invitation to the unknown.

Climb aboard and pay close attention
life is in motion
and flashes by quickly
on the railway line.


  1. So moving, literally. Loved it!! I love railroad tracks and how they seem endless in most pictures. Your picture curves, just hinting at what is to come. Awesome!

  2. Walkin' up the railroad track
    to my best fishin' hole
    in Brandamore
    on a dark sunday summer mornin'.
    I saw a snappin' turtle
    swimmin' on a rail?
    Yep, he'd gotten himself
    stranded there.
    He was kickin' his feet
    but goin' nowhere.
    I ask him, "Snappin' turtle,
    what you doin'
    swimmin' on a rail?"
    "Waitin' for the train," he said.
    I think he was hungerin’
    for my finger.
    I nudged him in the tail
    but not near the head
    and off he went.
    Happy and hissin’
    for the train
    he’d be missin’.

  3. I don't know what it is Diana, but your poetry and choice of pictures seem to awaken old memories like hedgerows and fishing holes. Perhaps it is our common Pennsylvania roots. I used to walk a railroad track just like that in Brandamore, PA with my grandfather to get to the best Crappy Bass spot in the county. Right around that bend in the track, to the left down the bank, was the spot.

    By the way, the snapping turtle story is true, although, had my grandfather been alive, he'd have taken him home, put him in a big galvanized tub for a week to clean him out, and we would have had snapper soup.

  4. Thanks everyone for your great comments.

    And Ted especially for sharing another one of your wonderful poems here :) My father worked on the railroad when I was first born, not riding the rails but laying tracks etc. To this day, he still tells the stories about his days with the railroad. Thanks.