Struggling for breath with a cold
In the night I hear the coal trains
Shuttling down the line to town,
The jazz of each passing one so
Lonely and dolorous I call it John;
I lie listening to the silence
As it settles in the garden
You can’t hear silence they say,
But I listen to it anyway
In its perfection of absence.
Then from the line
The sound chills down
The valleys and gullies,
Another coal train humping
A blue note in its wake,
Its trucks abrim with brine,
Beating time on the rim
For a coming day so very near
Yet imaginary still as all
The else we fail to hear.
* You can listen to me reading "A Coal Train Called John", as well as "My Country", by clicking on the link below.