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The Lord’s Rogue Locomotive

March 12th, 2011 · 5 Comments · Allegory or Fairy Tale, Children and Pets, Cottage Life, Drama, Family, General Interest, Human Nature, Lifestyle, Lyrical, Music, Not As It Seems, Parable, Poem, Poetry, Religion, Religious allegory, Slice of Life, Storytelling, Supernatural, Theology

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Apparently I have more of these kinds of stories in me. I view them as narrative, but my wife says they’re poetry. Please feel free to decide for yourself.


All was peace and future blindness,
not to know, a blessed kindness.

A family strolls a hidden laneway,
gently descending to sandy beach.
Poplar ushers pointing onward,
ahead a vista strange unfolding,
see the glass that could be water,
not a ripple breaks the surface.
Fireball glow betrays a mystery,
marigold hue, as sun recedes.
How unusual.

Passing words of conversations,
from others come to take a peek.
“Have you ever seen the equal?”
“No, never, not that I remember.”
Heads nod, wondering.
Minor fretting,
an anomaly of nature,
mildly vexing,
little sense that this was prologue.

A curiosity, no doubt,
thinking we’d eventually find out
it was but a summer’s heat haze.
Dad, mom, kids skedaddle,
back to cottage, routine observed.
TV to watch, a dog to walk,
a late night snack, then hit the sack.
Outside flimsy fenestration,
spooky stillness undisturbed.

Two a.m. and nothing’s stirring,
no mere calm or quiet pending.
Zero breeze, no branches bending.
Dead. A different planet.
Nature saying
keep your head down.
The minutes pass.

Miles away across the bay,
a drawn-out note,
machine awakening.
First hardly noticed,
yet growing louder.
Ten minutes slide.

The roar keeps building,
not so tame now.
A freight train chugging
over heaven’s skyway track.
Soon a single focal point,
pricked ears are listening
for the Lord’s rogue locomotive
fast approaching.
Fright train’s acomin,
put whole household on alert.

Awesome might fills all our senses.
On an instant, crescendo slap.
Numbing blow knocks down defenses,
overwhelms with shocking smack.

Beyond the walls,
boughs bend and buckle,
trunks of birch, pine, oak and hemlock
double joint, feint, snap and crack.

Torrential rain,
emergent soaking,
rage directed at
whatever clasps.

Trapped inside a
thunder boom box,
incessant decibels
assault the eardrums,
lightning bright
shakes up the night.
Close the windows,
wife and children.
In strobe white flashes,
phantoms dance.

Grace deprivation
in furious beauty,
hope to survive,
no guarantee.
Huddle closer,
all my dear ones,
sweet end is tardy,
in this crazy reverie.

No escape,
ride the flow,
finally some let-up,
notice posted, close the show.

Try to sleep,
but who can settle
after such a monumental
crisis overcome?

Checked next day’s newscasts.
Tornado spouts pecked
earth in several places
too close for comfort.
We were lucky.
Roads strewn with refuse,
leaves, limbs and wiring.
Clean-up aftermath.

My stunned reaction?
What else but humbling.
Man’s take-for-granted
superior entitlement
put in its place by
warranted belittlement.
Raw fellow survivors
shown what can happen
if we choose an unmarked path.


There are many threats to one’s well-being. When making your career choice, don’t fall too easily into The Trap.


For my first book, “Two Scoops” Is Just Right, please click here for the paperback version and here for the Kindle version.

For the sequel, “Three Scoops” Is A Blast! (with the award-winning “Size of the Skip”) click here for paperback and here for Kindle.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Glynis Smy // Mar 12, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Poetry. 5*.

    How small we are in the palm of Mother Earth.

  • 2 Donna Carrick // Mar 12, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I remember this day and night. It was humbling.

  • 3 Chris Nash // Mar 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I think Donna has you right. Absolute poetry indeed; but a great story with it. Another fantastic entry Alex.

  • 4 Jared Gullage // Mar 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I think this was a really interesting poem. It starts off in an alternating trochaic/iambic and breaks from there. I like the reflection of how nature turns and goes crazy in that the rhythm gets blown away. Nicely done.

  • 5 Sara // May 4, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Whether you see it as a poem or narrative, I’m just glad you wrote it. Spectacular! I hope there’s more.

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