Battered Beauties

Battered Beauties

A blast from the past! A photo taken on colour print film in 1997 at Wankaner Junction shed yard when steam on the metre gauge in Gujarat was on its last legs. Metre gauge steam ended here about a year later.

Inspired by this visit, I penned this short piece!

Tasting the smoke

I walked through the cinders and tasted the smoke

of the engines that paused there; fireboxes to stoke

 

in the heat of north India those railmen did toil

then chai in the office; the kettles a-boil.

Strange words for a greeting, they welcomed me there,

“You come meet the boss now”: and “pull up a chair.”

 

I walked through the cinders and tasted the smoke

as I went round the shed, in my notebook I wrote

of the engines and valve gear and tenders I saw

while oiling and coaling: of these men I’m in awe

 

I remembered my childhood and traveling by train

from the great Midland city; vacation the aim.

 

I walked through the cinders and tasted the smoke

as a teen through my twenties, by memories smote

of the smells and the sounds of those engines of yore

that stayed in my heart strings till brought to the fore

by the engines that paused there; fireboxes to stoke

and the joy of the cinders and tasting the smoke.

 

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Author: smithiesshutter

Artist and Photographer based in S W Scotland. Contact at smithiesshutter.gmail.com Prints may be obtained from any image shown here. Please respect my copyright.

7 thoughts on “Battered Beauties”

    1. Sweet indeed….feeling the heat from the boiler, hearing the splutter of the injectors and the scrape of the fireman’s shovel; and smelling the hot oil and the smoke……all the senses are engaged….then there’s travelling behind one of these beasts, standing in the open doorway watching the countryside pass by……that’s living!

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