Poetry from Dave Douglas

Coal Cars Going Over Trestle




On the railway inside

With a heavy payload,

I continue as this thought

And ignore the switch tracks


The engineer is my passenger

And I pull a freight of gold

With electronic waste

Never reaching the climax


I push the eighth notch

Highball to the next yard

But the cargo betrays you

I am full of double-stacks


Sparks take wing

The stress of steam

The strain of steel

The engine screams!




The derailment was close

Nothing was lost, except

The lives at the crossbuck

And the tears you wept




You decouple the old cars

And spot my new direction

I pick up broken passengers

Stopping at the next station


Over white-diamond mountains

Through obsidian-filled tunnels

Sunflower fields that glisten

And muscle-flexed trestles


Content in the journey of today

Not the destination of tomorrow

With treasures beyond the railway

Leading others as I follow …





Eighth notch: The final notch in the throttle; the most powerful position

Highball: A signal to operate a train at full speed.

Double-stack: Stacking one container on top of another

Crossbuck: The X shaped sign where the tracks cross a road




[“I” is the personification of a thought; and “you” 
is the mind, or the human containing the mind.]

Dave Douglas is a writer from Pleasanton, California and an avid cyclist. He may be reached at carpevelo@gmail.com