Monday, October 08, 2007

Ontario & Western Railroad

High over the roadway
Sliced into mountainside
We never knew it was there
Ticker-tack ties rumble
On washboard ground
Rusting rails screech
From blue jays
Lost in the trees

We drive
Our iron pace rolling
With spark bursts
In flame red maples
The gaze of another age
Sweeps across the valley
And puffs the sky full
Of coal smoke angels

(O&W Road, Buckingham Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. This road was once the rail bed of the Ontario & Western Railroad, Scranton Branch. When it was liquidated in the 1950's, the O&W's anachronistic operations earned it the nicknames "Old Woman" and "Old & Weary." It now enjoys a cult-like following.)


Angela said...

Coal smoke angels. Fantastic. And a beautiful picture.

SzélsőFa said...

I see that steam engine already.

Shesawriter said...

"And puffs the sky full
Of coal smoke angels"

My fav is above. Nice, Jason. Real nice.

Kristen Hovet said...

how do you sort blogs? i've noticed they fall under different headings. this is curious.

Vixen said...

Beautiful. I grew up and lived in the Allentown, PA area for 27 years of my life and the things that were so close by that I missed...

I sometimes thing we miss some of the most beautiful things in our own neighborhoods, communities, states.

Thanks for sharing.

The Anti-Wife said...

Ticker-tack ties rumble
On washboard ground

Coal smoke angels.

What fantastic imagery.

Vesper said...

Beautiful, Jason!

from blue jays
lost in the trees

the gaze of another age

coal smoke angels

Just beautiful! I also like the way you arranged the words - the poem looks like a continuation of the picture.

Mad Munkey said...


Coal smoke angels... great image.

Anonymous said...

Angela, we couldn't believe this road and history was right under our noses.

Szelsofa, :) No higher praise.

Shesawriter, it never ceases to amaze me how close history can be under our feet.

Kristen, I could do them as one blogroll, but this is more fun. All are wonderful night experiences. Folks usually enjoy where I place them.

Vixen, so very true. I hope that my posts can sometimes fill those unknowing gaps.

Anti-Wife, those lines were the most fun of the poem.

Vesper, the shape was a happy accident. When I looked at it, I smiled. Glad you enjoyed the ride on this high mountain road.

Mad Munkey, fall clouds are like that, aren't they. I suppose it's the lack of haze. Perfect shapes in a wave of blue.

Ello said...

JAson - this was lovely. My favorite line - and I'm clearly not alone - is Coal smoke angels. It sounds like a great title for a book!

Bev said...

Love the picture!

Why is it that we can always find some fun way to "rename" what a set of letters stand for? Here in my part of the country we have the Denver and Rio Grand Western (D&RGW) railway which is often refered to as the Dangerous and Rapidly Getting Worse!

Anonymous said...

Ello, a title of a book? You know, it does have a nice sound it.

Bev, reverse engineering acronyms is just human nature, I suppose. :)

c.s. said...

this has to be one of your best pictures. i love it!

as always, your poem inspires me to write. thanks!

and i've got an award for you, if you don't mind. ;)

Kristen Hovet said...

cool, i'm heat lightning!!!!