With sun seductive, blinding, thoughts of open rail reminding
Of adventures held in albums, slightly faded, fondly worn;
I departed with a vision magnified through time’s revision,
Of idyllic destinations, perfect sunsets, youth reborn.

But the way ahead, ‘though long, found no wonders quite as strong
As those seen many years ago on train-trip holidays,
To mountains awe-inspiring, raging ocean terrifying –
No different now, yet strangely bland to middle-aged ways.

If only we could baggage thrills of childhood, give them carriage
On way to destinations viewed in adulthood, as balm;
For senses dull and weary, blunted by conventions dreary –
Delivering those feelings brakes and buffers cannot calm.

Then true appreciation, riding rails of inclination,
Could undo with arriving gleam of eye, unfettered mind,
The harm of education’s classic virtue limitations;
Revisiting by means of steam a world thought left behind.


David Watt is a writer from Canberra, the “Bush Capital” of Australia. He has contributed regularly to Collections of Poetry and Prose by Robin Barratt. When not working for IP (Intellectual Property) Australia, he finds time to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of traditional rhyming poetry.


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8 Responses

  1. David Hollywood

    Marvelous. Takes me right back. Lovely atmosphere to this poem, with an echo of the future I had. Thank you.

    • David Watt

      Thank you for your generous comparison. I attempted a form which might highlight the train’s rhythm.

  2. William Ruleman

    I really like this one too: the internal rhymes, the suitably rollicking train-carriage rhythms, but most of all the wistful longing expressed.

    • David Watt

      Thank you William. Train travel is for me an exhilarating tradition, wistfully reminding of those other traditions we must preserve, including education in Classical forms.


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