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Inauspicious

Twas an ordinary flying fellow
Heading home down the lane;
Thought he’d go visit
With his dear old lady again.

The lighted clock was now lit
While a train wailed from afar—
A local passing thru Ashland Town:
A manifest: car after car after another car.

Squirrels darted in and out the bushes
While that station camera squeezled back around.
Street lights spit alive then…at last…caught on.
In the chatroom, loving care shared all over by the pound.

Another new Summer night, half-moon graced a languid sky—
But crossing lights started to go on for poor old Myrtle Street:
Ditch lights slow grew to peek out from the lush trees
But station bells sounded behind! Could we all hope for a meet?

Our ordinary fellow was sure home with his gal,
A far flung flying day had found the setted Sun
And her tisker-taskets of screens and councils were finally over—
Vashlanders hooted or saluted, another day universally well-done.

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Avec Toi

I miss walking Paris
I miss Washington DC
I really miss those nice things
You used to think about me
I really like my neighbor
Even if I don’t know her name
Such things can’t be helped
There’s no one left to blame
The cat wants to meow outside
He doesn’t care much for Amelie
He just likes chasing whatever
Presents far away from me
I loved a Nordic goddess
I danced at her only wedding
We reconnected somehow on Facebook
Now I must vacuum, Jack keeps on shedding
I have seen true beauty
And felt arid with bottomless pain
I cannot understand the darkness
Kathy sees in Ashland’s daily grain train
I want to return to New Orleans
And lure the regard of a new pretty head
But I just write small lines in Austin
Watching Amelie avec a glass of Fonseca instead

Sunday In Ashland

Capsizing pomegranates!
Two trains wide.
You zoom out to the crossing;
I’ll stay here and hide.
It’s lovely in the chatroom—
The Moderators can be so kind.
Quick, screenshot that Schnabel!
Tell me what it is you find!
A rainy Sunday in Ashland—
Droplets grace the screen.
Rewind with the red ball
To see what you coulda seen.
But, now it’s time to go in
And deal with deeds most pesky.
Later, we’ll all watch for the AT
Or manifests carrying jet ski.

A Gifting

A breeze freshened, then turned cold,
Another old story now to be retold:
Of seasonal wishes and hopes reborn,
Chances taken even if burnished by scorn.
Crossing the tracks, he walked into Tiny Tim’s store
Sunlight followed him in just like the weeks before
The shopkeeper smiled to see the young man arrive
Another payment to place, was it number four or five?
Four payments left and then soon Christmas comes,
That time of roasted chestnuts and puddings with plums.
Back to Cross Grocery and shelves to stack and refill
Earning his money for rent, food, and that toy store bill.
Twas a sudden quirk storm that roared into town:
Rain, billowing snow, then sleet rocketed down.
An SUV late for choir practice risked running the ringing gate,
But the Autotrain was faster, STOP!
…but, too late.
The clerk flew across the tracks to help if he could;
He pulled out the shopkeeper, nice old Josiah Wood,
And a couple of customers getting their purchases done;
Then, stayed with that car driver, trapped and sore alone.
Car and train had finished their dance at the toy store back door;
All happily survived, but that prepaid toy was of course no more.
Christmas Eve, and the clerk had just walked back home
To start his Ursa chili with his Woolworth’s pots of chrome.
A knock on the door, and oh my goodness, there on his stoop stood
That railroad councilwoman, and on crutches, Mister Josiah Wood!
Beckoning them to come in and get out of the cold,
Our clerk blushed in worry about what could be told.
Mister Wood then handed our clerk a box as he brushed away a tear:
The Lionel Train Set the clerk had been paying for over the past half year.
Pop-eyed, our clerk struggled to make good on giving proper appreciation,
The councilwoman said it’s they who wished to reward his aid and application.
The clerk still said thank you, for this most important gift, was meant for another—
A gentleman at the Ashland Nursing Home, a railroad friend of his departed mother.
The wind slowed to a pause for this, a new holiday silent night.
Twinkling merrily did the Christmas lights make for a sweet sight.
And, for our good neighbors who may forget old holiday rhymes,
It’s nice to remember: “For it is good to be children sometimes.”

A Winter Southbound

The fallen leaves scattered across the tracks,
Southbound 53 would push these farther on.
A love that was empty as Ashland’s winter trees—
A hard weight was lifted now that she’d gone.

No tears, but also no joy, would be found here.
Yes, may the very best find its way over to her;
And should any good be left over hanging out
Perhaps might could entertain here along with Jack’s purr.

Santy Claus is due to arrive in a few days
And we’ve all tried to be and to do our best;
But sometimes it’s never close to good enough
And you cancel flights along with all the rest.

Maybe in the new year happiness real will come
And everyone can breathe and let it all just be;
Festivals and dances return for our lives renewed
And I can get back to that crescent bend in the Mississippi.

The southbound blew its horn passing thru Ashland town
And the online chatroom railfans counted up all the cars.
The empty trees shimmied in the rolling winter wind;
The resettled leaves looked up and counted up all the stars.

A November In Hancock County

HORN!
Wait…what do I hear?
Is that a train’s calling horn?
It’s warbling powerful note
That’s moved us since we were born?
Times a wasting!
Get on over to Ashland!
Gonna play at Train Day
The very best that I can!
GATES!
There go the gates
As the lights start to blink.
Saturday twould be better spent
Meeting Tender and Cinder, don’t you think?
MEET!
So, its November the Fourth,
From ten am until afternoon five;
For the best of an American little town
Proving Just Plain Goodness is still alive!
Please, sign the petition
And meet Kathy’s Clowns;
More fun than an old football team
Taking over on downs.
Gates UP!
So, get on over here
Before I’ve run out of verse;
Come to Train Day in Ashland—
At the Center of the Universe!

Wait…what do I hear
Is that a train’s calling horn?
It all starts this Saturday
On a fresh, cool Autumn’s morn.

(Happy Birthday sm6175!!!)