June 21, 2011

The Adirondack

Jolting and jogging and shunting and stop.
Crawling and tilting and sprinting and stop.
The gilded-age rails are fixing to rot
And to judge by the rolling, so is the stock.

The train whistles progress, but the points are all shot:
Two hours at the border, and stop, stop, stop, stop.

Lake Champlain glistens for hundreds of miles,
To the West Adirondacks; to the east just a mire.
There is beauty here of Arcadian kind,
But the route is industrial, brutal, and wild.

A river, a bridge, a ubiquitous flag.
Eleven hours of sidings, and freight trains and drag.

We yawn through New York, creeping or stalled
In a chariot of steel, obesity withal.
Past Plattsburgh, Westport, Fort Edward-Glen Falls.
Through Schenectady, Hudson, Poughkeepsie we trawl.

A river, a bridge, a vertiginous sight.
We pull into Penn and escape with the night.


  1. Love it, as I know that train well. But did you sit on the river side of the train?

  2. Thanks Reggie, and Anon. And yes, I was on the river side.

  3. What beautiful writing.

  4. Thank you Tabitha. I'd do more, but the production process is painful.


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