Irene C S ClarkHogg
Train To Nowhere - Poem by Irene C S ClarkHogg
Train to Nowhere
There is a locomotive chugging
across the dusty plain.
Some of the passengers are praying
for they can not return again.
It is their last train ride to nowhere,
Somewhere is where they have been.
Most of them rant and weep and stare
out at the featureless scene.
Click, click, the needles, plain and purl
as the eager women wait.
Long bands of wool will soon unfurl
For now the train is late.
No mountain range to please the eye
No sign of any habitation,
No bird or beast or tiny fly,
Only grey dust and desolation.
They only have vague memories
Of the lives that they have lead;
But frightening thoughts of evil histories
Runs through each man’s head.
It says ‘Piccadilly Junction’
In large letters on the sign;
Such a cheerful introduction
To the end of the line.
Some are taken from the train,
Leaving in a little yellow bus.
Shackles join those who remain.
They disembark without a fuss.
Mile after mile they struggle on,
Along a well worn track;
No need for guards with goad or gun
For they know they can’t turn back.
Hour after hour with no end in sight,
Then a village ahead they see.
Starving, exhausted, but with hearts now light,
Hope for an end to their misery.
Click, click, go the needles happily,
They know the men are getting near,
And the women knit more rapidly,
Anticipating the victim’s fear.
High in the leaves of a purple tree,
Sprawls grinning Cheshire cat,
Wearing gold bangles on each knee
And a purple tricorn hat.
He peers down through the branches,
Disappearing and appearing at will,
Assessing this groups chances,
Knowing the answer is always nil.
The red queen sits upon her throne,
Her face shows no sympathy.
Each man’s thoughts are his alone.
‘Off with their heads, ’ she shouts with glee.
Xavier Periwinkle stands,
His face a sombre mask,
A large axe held in beefy hands;
He enjoys his gruesome task.
Repeated, repeated, the story is told,
Click, click, the needles tell it well,
Again and again to climb the scaffold.
Welcome to the village known as Hell.
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