for two years i lived in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. occasionally i would revisit family in Dublin and would have to take a train from Portarlington, Co. Laois. i enjoyed looking out the window at the farms, canals and fields.
Creaking carriages – stuttering slow!
children wave and off we go;
speed blurs their innocent smiles,
flashing by, staion chequered tiles,
laughing sunlight sings for miles.
Squat cottages – you smile so!
good things those small plots grow,
guarded by slap-dash lean to‘s:
mismatched timber, weathered hues
held with rusty nails or screws.
Shuttling, shouting – engines go!
pistons in tandem, not solo,
engines applaud, shunting sun,
rail pilgrimage long distance begun
– blessings hauled, by the ton
The rural station shouts – hello!
energetic engines start to slow;
wind on face, smell burnt peat,
Odlum oats in air smell sweet,
lonely cows moan, silly sheep bleat.
Workers shout – train to go!
giddy swallows glide down low,
they don’t have a single care
– I stand, I smile, I stare –
is that manure scenting the air…?