Culture

Poetry Corner: Freight Train

The Orkney News welcomes contributions from readers and it is our pleasure to publish the work of Richard Wallace.


“My name is Richard Wallace, I am 74 years old and this is a good news story. In 2012 my wife and I spent January and February in Stromness, the storm season, and it was the best experience ever. Every day we spent most of the day hiking beside the ocean and everywhere there was to be hiked. We hiked in rain and winds that we were told that must have been 100 miles an hour. Sometimes we wouldn’t be home until dark.

“We loved it so much that in 2014 we went back to Stromness and stayed for six months; from May through to November, and every day was the best day a person could hope for. We made wonderful friends, enjoyed such hospitality and came to feel that we were a part of the community. We especially enjoyed hiking on Hoy, hiking up to the Old Man of Hoy, and the ‘chippy van’ on Friday nights at the Stromness pier. It was all so good.

“While there I wrote some poems. The Freight Train was inspired by a raging sea; I figured there must be something down there causing all that madness on top.

“Every day in Scotland for a total of eight months was the best day ever and thank you so much, Richard.”

Freight Train

There’s a freight train

on the bottom of the ocean.

It’s churning up the waves

from way below.

I can hear it’s whistle

screaming out in protest

while it’s coal fired furnace

casts an eerie glow.

————————————–

The steaming smoke stack

laughs at the birds and fishes

as they try to hide

from this fearsome mass of steel.

The eerie glow calls out

to the birds and fishes

warning them of dangers

from below.

——————————————–

My freight train

makes the colours of the rainbow.

In the fall it turns the leaves

from green to gold.

It tells the birds, “Go South”,

it’s getting colder;

my freight train tells the clouds

it’s time to snow.

————————————————

I love my train

on the bottom of the ocean.

I love the waves and foam

on a rainbow sky.

I laugh as the birds and fishes

run for safety

when it’s massive wheels of steel

go charging by.

—————————————————

There’s a freight train

on the bottom of the ocean.

It rules the waves and the world

from way below.

I can hear it’s whistle

screaming out in protest

while it’s coal fired furnace

casts an eerie glow.

Storm Wick 2012

The storms of 2012


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