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Tuesday, 4 June 2013


The train winds its lonely way across the prairie
and disappears into The Throat, a rock formation
like a fan vault, but open at the top.
Part tunnel and part cutting of foliated gneiss,
an observer on the prairie would see nothing of
the train at this point than a swirl of smoke
travelling from north to south at sixty miles an hour.
Not, that is, until the train emerges from
its semi subterranean sightseeing tour
before another rock formation, a cave known locally as
The Halls of the Outlaw Kings. The driver feels
as though the blood has frozen solid in his limbs and heart.
Here in these caves it was that forty years ago
a rapture overcame him as a girl he'd never seen before
danced nimbly from his arms, there to be turned to gneiss
before his unbelieving eyes. He craves her still --
and more and more profoundly with each passing day.

Using the twelve words selected as prompt by The Sunday Whirl. (Wordle 111)


Anonymous said...

This is fantastic Dave the descriptions are gorgeous I was really right there on the train taking in the scenery and the end loved it. I didn't even know this was for a wordle it was so seamless

Elephant's Child said...

I hope he finds a way to join her again...

Tabor said...

Did not see this coming. A turn and surprise that made me sad as the train rushes on by.

Anonymous said...

The Throat sounds gorgeous. These rock formation provide a rich setting for your narrator's memories. Well done. You sent my iPhone to dictionary.com to look up gneiss. Great word for this context, it sounds texturally stunning. Thanks for sharing this Dave.

Mary said...

Wow, craving her so strongly still after 40 years....that is quite something. Loved this story, Dave, with its mysticism!

Wolfsrosebud said...

do think I heard the whistle... umm, so do I need to be concerned regarding an engineer not focusing on his job

Brian Miller said...

really great imagery in this...the train always carries nostalgia for me...the introduction of the girl in this though is where the real story is....and you work it well...and the train keeps a rolling...

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

An impressive picture of longing.

Cloudia said...

"More profoundly with each passing day."

Aye. That's where we are, what we share, mortal brother poet-


haricot said...

The tunnel like cave is symbolic and your words brought me a different sight at last.

jabblog said...

Mystical. 'the blood has frozen solid in his limbs and heart' - shivers.

Ygraine said...

Oh, how wonderfully romantic!
If only he could be transported back forty years to a different outcome...

Carol Steel said...

The geological information woven through your poem gives it realism. I liked the haunted ending and the echo of longing like a train's whistle far and far.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Well,my goodness, you've created magic with your words here! Girls turning to gneiss? What next! Wow!

A Whirl with Stanley Kunitz

Outlawyer said...

Oh very poignant, a real Yeatsian feel here. This is Karin btw, Manicddaily - sometimes blogger makes me use old blogger account. k.

Dave King said...

Thank you so much the generous comment

Elephant's Child
I'm sure he will...

You sure it wasn't the train that madde you sad? They do that to me.

Welcome to my blog. My thanks to you for your lovely comment.

Thanks Mary. Much appreciate the comment.

ah, well, yes, perhaps... hadn't thought of that!

Thanks Brian, several useful observations there.

Good of you to say this. Useful to have your thoughts on it.

I'm sure you are right. Thanks for saying.

Yes, you're right. There is symbolism there.

Thanks for.

Yes, now wouldn't that be a result? And come to think of it...

Welcome and thanks for your contribution. Really good to have you aboard.

Magical Mystical Teacher
Many thanks for your kind comment. Good to have had your visit. Impressive blog you have.

Ah, that blogger, what will he do next? Thanks for a great comment.