Iron Men


The Iron Road
filled the world
with thunder.
Timber cut
from continental
forests fuelled
men and pistons.
Metal shone
with power.

In Railtown, now
red oxide holds
the sleeping rails


between earth and fire
its glow coats
plates, bolts, boilers.
Capped old men,
slim with age
and dreams,
take their time
to keep in steam
a chosen master
of the race
to cross from
coast to coast
and halve the size
of their United States.


dsc_0271Showered sparks
cascade from
polished tubes;
a blacksmith
hammers steel back
into shape and fitness;
oil shines
on con rods,
valves and cylinders;
youth gleams
in eyes, on lips.


2 thoughts on “Iron Men

  1. A poem brimful of splendid metaphor – ‘…red oxide holds the sleeping rails/somewhere between earth and fire…’, ‘…youth gleams in eyes, on lips’ – and with a sense of the vastness of ‘their United States’.


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