Deus ex machina: The Train

The Train

There once was a train that sped through the country
laying tracks before and behind itself
chewing up fields and slicing through hedgerows
untethered in its pursuit of progress. 

It would BLAST the air with its furious steaming whistle
and would roar as the fireman threw coke into its belly.
Never would it falter.
Never would it deviate from its path.

Over the years, the train grew in stature
and multiplied to become a part of the landscape
that it’s windows looked upon: green fields and the fog of the engine,
blurring beneath sleeping eyes.

Pulsating new technologies soon appeared,
casting steam aside and aloft, rising it into the past
with a revolution of electrically engineered ease
and another burst of imagination and invention.

And then as it was conquering all,
the magnificent train was left for a while. It was older now,
and as with most old things to which we’ve grown accustomed,
the train was taken for granted.

Now rusted and patched;
no longer polished, only rescued,
the train’s stock fell like leaves from autumn trees
covering progress with a mulched and slippery blanket.

Then along came a woman, she who claimed
that she and ONLY she had the ONLY solution,
that she would be the saviour of this old friend of ours
and would create a whole new brand of revolution.

So piece by piece, the train was dismantled to be sold.
It couldn’t defend itself or race away into the smoke
and no-one was brave enough to stop its sadness
because by now, the train really was too old.

The pieces now purchased, were clumsily reassembled.
Put together back to front, with new parts and old
clashing and grinding, sparks setting fire
and burning away in incoherence.

And so it continued, the once great train
now weathered and worn, battered and bruised with neglect,
stumbled and rumbled along the same tracks it always had,
only now as enterprise’s slave.

What a cruel and demanding master,
the bitter and secretive enterprise turned out to be.
Its expectation crushing old dilapidated wheels
and jangling a purse at every opportunity.

When those wheels could take no more,
and began to wobble and the train to lurch,
panicked eyes turned not to the new master, but to the country
through which in its younger years, the train had proudly roamed.

Would the country respond in the way it had in those youthful days
as the train was conceived and rattled off on its childlike way?
Would the considerable weight of the state lodge it’s shoulder
behind this artery that had grown to become so clogged?

Or would this weary and miserable train,
now and for the very last time ever
heave a stifled sigh, close it’s sad eyes
roll into its yard, and without the least last sound, simply die?

Deus ex machina is available to buy here on Amazon Kindle for £0.99, or here in multitude of formats on Smashwords and, in the spirit of this new social literary experience and community collaboration, you can determine how much you would like to pay. A proportion of all profit will be donated to charity

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