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Londis Carpenter

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Member Since: May, 2003

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A Boy And A Train
by Londis Carpenter
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Londis Carpenter
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           >> View all 137

I don’t know the date, but I was seven or eight when we moved from the Midwest plains

to the Cascade Range, where the foothills boast tall mountains, like Shuksan.

We found a home out there, amidst fresh mountain air, where pine forests never end,
In a western land, with a vista grand,

Where the clouds and the mountains blend.

Its deceptive skies fill your mind with lies.
The horizon seems to flow.

Your eyes can’t tell the ocean’s swell
from the clouds, or the mountain snow.

We traveled out west on my mother’s quest to leave our city life of ease.
She believed in her heart, that with a brand new start
She might heal from a dread disease.

She sought cleaner air, because her lungs were frail,
With disease, which soon would kill her.

And we rode on a train you will know by name;
It was the mighty Empire Builder.

The scenes I saw from the railroad car
Filled my heart with boyish wonder.

I saw wolves and elk and mountain goats,
As I rode those wheels of thunder.

I was nearly asleep as we reached a peak
At a place they call Gold Basin.

But when our porter spoke I became alert 
To a marvelous revelation.

There’s a nine-mile tunnel that goes through the heart
Of a mountain of solid stone,

Which he wanted me to witness for my own self;
It's a sight some have never known.

Porter came back around when we stopped at a town,
Where he said we would stay until nine.

So, should we leave the train, to hurry back again,
Or we'd risk getting left behind.

I stayed on the train, seeing nothing gained, 
With only ten minutes to roam.

There was mom and me, and my sister Sharee’,
But my brother went off all alone!

Why Danny left the train is still not plain;
I guess he wanted to scout things out.

He was in a shop filled with souvenirs
When they gave the “All aboard!” shout.

But my brother, Dan, never heard a thing
He was awed with rich emotion.
His mind was filled with strange new sights,
Not the sound of a train in motion.

When we saw him from the dining car; 
Mother called to pull the brake chain.
some folks took bets that a boy of ten
Could never outrun a train.

Have you ever felt fear like a winter's chill
On a dog day summer night?

Have you lost all hope, knew you couldn’t cope,
In the face of terrible fright?

Have your knees ever swayed in a rubbery way,
Have you paled thinking all's in vain?

Then you know about the fright a boy felt that night,
When he raced to catch a train.

Danny nearly fell, but he ran quite well, 
As he sprinted for the gate

Of the train’s caboose, where the porters roost;
They pulled him in like he had no weight.

I was proud that day when folks had to pay
Money lost, when they bet on the train.

Because my brother had won his race against time,
While  I basked in the glow of his fame.

And I bask today in a similar way, when my world gets out of kilter.
I remember how a boy once raced a train, 
And beat the mighty Empire Builder.








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Reviewed by Roger Ochs 7/31/2005
Katy told me this was exceptional and she was right.
The internal rhyme balances the end rhymes.
The poem has the quality of speed without ever feeling rushed.
Reviewed by Tami Ryan 7/10/2004
A wonderful tale, well written.
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 6/5/2004
Delightful story, Londis. Thank you for sharing this offering. Love and peace to you. Regis
Reviewed by Bhuwan Thapaliya 5/25/2004
Gem of a write...this should be published....I salute n luck...BHUWAN
Reviewed by Cynth'ya 5/12/2004
My goodness, the peace I felt while reading this! Then excitement, a bit of off-beat humor, laughing at myself of almost (and sometimes) missing school buses. This was better than "Casey at the Bat." And you have memories of your brother, unlike the Mighty Casey, he did not "strike out."

cynth'ya lewis reed
Reviewed by Ted Sheridan (Reader) 5/11/2004
I was directed here by your friend Katy, and after reading this wonderful poem, I am sure that Katy is my friend too.
Reviewed by Thomas Lanechanger 5/11/2004
A joy to read. Thank you for sharing it.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 5/11/2004
Lonnie, a delightful little birdie told me not to miss this delightful piece, and she was right. This is marvelous! My kind of story poem, and I agree with the others, most worthy of publication.

Well Done!
Reviewed by Floria Kelderhouse (Reader) 5/10/2004
Londis this was rivetting......from first
line to the last...a very indepth tale
written so well...I agree it should be
published...You Wow'ed me...great writing..
Reviewed by Retta (Reindeer) Mckenzie 5/10/2004
This was wonderful! A loved this! outstanding,

Reviewed by Lori Moore 5/10/2004
This was a joy to read. Awesome write with a fantastic ending.
Reviewed by E T Waldron 5/10/2004
Lonnie, this is an outstanding story/poem! I hope you
send it to a publisher! It is a stirring account that
starts out simple and builds to a stunning finale!Bravo!
I'm glad Katy recommended I read this, wouldn't want to
have missed it!;-)
Reviewed by Katy Walsvik 5/10/2004
I couldn't write a thing for fully 10 minutes, Lonny!! 10!! You see, I wasn't back yet.. hadn't returned to my chair, here at my computer.. and I swear to you, my great friend, my nose is still slightly cool from pressing against that train window. Perfect? The build up, the tension, the background info all in place. Yes, perfect is the right words here. You don't sensationalize.. so my transport to the train and that day was as natural, as unavoidable as is possible, through words. I will fill this space with words, my dear, but I will never be able to adequately tell you the magnificence of this very simple, absolutely absorbing, truly breathless piece of writing is. It will be in my library from today on... but it is already written indelibly on my heart. Whew! I'm so excited I want everyone to read this! katy xox.
Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU 5/10/2004
"A Boy And A Train"... This is an outstanding story, Poet!
while reading it I felt I was in the train, and somebody was telling the story in loud voice.

I experienced similar situation, but my sister was the protagonist. "A Boy And A Train" made me dive fifty years back on the sea on my memory.

"A Boy And A Train is true live Poetry.

On this fiftieth Evening of Spring I salute you, Sublime Poet!

Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU
Reviewed by Jane Rodway 5/9/2004
OMG this is great-should be published, would make an excellent children's book.
Reviewed by Red Matrix (Reader) 5/9/2004

This is magnificent wonder, hooray not a blunder!
I thank you for sharing this story.

I laughed and I cried, how you've touched my life,
this poem was far from boring!

º¿º - Dave
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 5/9/2004
Beautiful piece Londis...very heartfelt Sir!!

Love Tinka

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