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Innovation­game

Farewell to steam


How I used to love the trains,
little Stanier push-pull tanks
puffing out of empty Marton
with hissing steam and wheels that clank
half between the smoky blasts
that thunder from the chimney’s top,
rushing up into the sky,
where photogenically they stop
to bask in dazzling sunlight
against a sky of deepest blue,
slowly drifting far behind
and somehow blending with the view.

When I o’er the distant hills
see tiny puffs of smoky steam,
then magically my memory
conjures bright that rural scene;
one porter on the platform,
four people only on the train,
driver, fireman, guard and I;
but we will never ride again
that way, for now the line is closed
and no more will the friendly scream
be heard from trains; and everywhere
has come a sad farewell to steam.