Country Train

Today I caught the country train
Coming from far away
Back home.

It flew by fields and soggy mires,
Power-poles swimming in miniature oceans,
As the drizzle falls
Smothering the world in liquid dust.
It seemed as if every single tree
I’d ever seen passed before me
In the shape of a twiggy eucalypt
(young, just sprung, or hollow hallowed bark),
And a hundred tiny aging buildings
Built by a hundred thousand hands (now withered to spindle bones in red earth)
Carting red bricks
Carved from miles of stone,
From mighty towers, underground mountains,
Now withered pale like the sniffling sky
Left to rot in the passage of time.

Orange earth lies under ground grey gravel while scrub threatens greenness
Instead of sickly yellow,
Pools of undisturbed glass reflect a pallid blanket
An imitation of the mist from which it must have fallen;
And still there is not a single soul to describe,
Nothing sees but black buds fixed from milky cow eyes
Eyeing dew drops dutifully dripping down to dirt, while chewing besides.
Each town holds multiplying cities of rust, eating away steadily at sodden misplaced memories;
There is not a car that doesn’t drive itself, even the tree plants its own seed.

Inside my carriage a lit sign flickers
A hundred times an hour, more mirroring the rain than the occupants inside
As they pass holding coffee and children tight in hand
Dragging along past me on this cold morning ride.

I watch as the people materialize, slowly, and the houses come up on each side,
A man at the crossing waves out a ute’s window
The hand still reeking of smoke
Just like the passing chimney bellowing out each toke of aimless carbon
Dissolving into mist, vanishing again into the great grey shadows.
Alongside highway roads form, pine grows
Climbing high on the backs of great hills rising
From nothing in particular.

Today I am going home, eventually,
But first I will let my eyes wander across
And melt into that blanket fog, to run off over the far off tree tops
(framing the scene softly, serene), too much of nothing left unseen.

Country Train


Oak Park, Australia

  • Artist

Artist's Description

Written a couple of weeks ago when I came back from Beechworth on the Vline, edited a bit because it had little-no continuity (considering it was written at 9am after getting up at 5:30 am, not surprising), hopefully it does a bit more so now and I’m not just delirious.


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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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