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Selected poetry from

An Anthology of Steam Railroad Poetry

Volume 2

(Canadian Edition)

Edited By
Michael Gee

Text 1987 - 2005 All Rights Reserved

Redistribution without permission from the Author is forbidden.

Used with permission

Pensioned

The Canadian Association of Railwaymen's Journal in January, 1936, carried this poem by "The Rhyming Railroader" from Port Arthur.

I'm past sixty-five and my time is my own,
I was pensioned the other day --
The days sometimes drag as I sit here alone
Dreaming of time passed away --
I miss most of all the rail atmosphere,
The noise and the smells we all love;
The blasting exhaust of a yard engine near --
The clouds of black smoke up above.

The pounding of wheels and the smell of hot dope,
The rattles -- the jolts and the dust --
The slack running in on each downward slope,
The grease and the cinders and rust.
The muffled-like click of the old telegraph
In the shack where of't gathered round --
The hardships we bore and yet lived to laugh --
The fellowship dear and profound.

The smile and the wave as we passed swiftly by
The homesteader back in the bush;
The thrill that we felt with home drawing nigh
Then the stopping-- the silence -- the hush.
yes -- I doze in my chair and my time is my own
But I live in the past so it seems.
Thrilling once more to the joys that I've known
As I live them again -- in my dreams.