16 April 2012

Locomotive Breath

Come here
Hot-bellied King Coal.
Fill your boiler full.
Wail your whistle warning
One more time.

Bring your bunker to me.
I’ll fill it with gold.
Your shining, chilly reward
For the end of the line.

Empty the steam
From your damp lungs.
Send out your smokestack
A  solitary black puff.
One last locomotive breath.

I was so happy when Suzie Clevenger put this photo up at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. I've always the Jethro Tull song title, Locomotive Breath, just sounded so monstrously beautiful. But I didn't really know what to do with it. This is where Suzie led me. I also can't help but think about Thomas the Tank Engine. And as a bonus (or not!), I tried my first audio post. Fairly poor quality audio, but give it a listen.



  1. I can vaguely remember steam trains. The chug chugging and the whistle.
    This was lovely and invoked those memories!

  2. I love the power in your poem, and your voice is GORGEOUS! I can take "Locomotive Breath" but just don't make me listen to "Aqualung!"

  3. Thanks. And many, many thanks to you, Mouse! But you really should give Jethro Tull another chance. I'm going to record more readings. I think I like it.

  4. I love what you wrote from my photograph..the ending so appropriate. What a great voice you have. Looking forward to hearing more of your poems being read. I too am a Jethro Tull fan and Locomotive Breath is my favorite song of theirs.

    1. Thanks, Susie! And thanks for the picture.

  5. Really enjoyed the poem and the reading. I thought the sound quality was just fine, and you do have a great voice!