Tuesday, January 24, 2017


In my mind I still see those shining rails,
Parallel up close, joined at a slight crest,
Invisible beyond that spearhead point,
Expressing workers worldwards from the west.
Before carriages came out of the east
I sensed their rickety rhythmic rattle;
I felt the diesel motor's vibrations;
I heard cries of freight cars' sheep and cattle.
And I recall smoky locomotives,
Vapour spirals whirling like Dervishes,
Soot defiling my then tender nostrils,
Steam hissing like snakes locked in skirmishes.
Always the antique station waited still -
Gateway to the flood plains near Richmond Hill.*

* The first British settlers in eastern Australia referred to the Sydney hinterland town of Richmond as Richmond Hill.
The picture shows a 1960s steam train descending the gentle incline from Schofields as it approached Riverstone.

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