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Linda Golden

How many years has it been since I've heard, 'All Aboard'?
Countryside pictures flash almost too fast to capture
That silhouette of a dead oak tree laying its shadow across
burnt rolling hills of summer, errant mustard clumps wave as
we pass, lazing cows chewing last of the green stubble,
fence posts string necklaces around homesteads, hillsides--a lattice of
grape arms, tendrils wrapped about, reaching to secure ripening jewels.
Sea stretches its white foam fingers finding feeling free, deeply
drenching soft sandy spots, retreating, returning, retreating, returning, 
crushing coastline, creating craters, posting sprays, rainbows,
small boy with dragon kite braving beach's barnacles past blankets 
boasting bathing beauties, cliffs climb, crumbling sand topped with cap of sea
grass, bend after bend of beauty, careening northward hugging California coast,
now blending into vast wetlands shimmering with birds, now emerald fields
Hillsides dotted with coastal oaks, then a forest of them, then rock-faced cliffs
mounted by telephone poles, a row of cypress winds along a road leading to a
terracotta colored rancho, horse corrals dissect landscape, their inhabitants
cluster under trees, swishing tails against swarms of warm weather flies.
Gift of not driving, tracks embracing southern coast, while mountains tower
craggy or hills roll gently, trading spring green for golden straw glistening
in sun's descent
Quaint stations punctuate route, sound of whistle, clang of crossing alarms,
kids waving, backyard with rusted out car, broken down fences, junkyard, family
gardens drying, ghosts of barns peeling, basketball hoop without webbing standing on
a post, roadside memorial fresh with flowers and grief, ancient cemetery with 
fashioned tombstones, abandoned water tank's corroding roof, old adobe mission walls
askew, a meandering stream choked with broken limbs and rotting leaves,
watching passing scenes, reminders of transitory nature of life
© 2013 by Linda Golden.
Used with the author's permission.



Linda Golden listened to other people's stories for most of her life. As a psychoanalyst, she listened with intensity as others told their tales. Now retired, she is exploring creative writing and painting with watercolor with that same intensity. Brooklyn born, Linda considers herself almost a native Californian. She lives in Woodland Hills with her husband, Mike, and their dog, Katy, in a rambling multi-generational home.


Post New Comment:
What a romantic thing a train is!
Posted 05/10/2014 09:31 AM
Ross Kightly:
P.S. For those who like to know such things: that was from my home in Halifax, through Sheffield to Nottingham, and back. And no, I didn't mention Robin Hood because in fact both counties of Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire claim him.
Posted 05/10/2014 09:04 AM
Ross Kightly:
Fortunately I live in a country where people travel a lot by train - in fact yesterday I went from a former textile town in the North of England through what was once the Cutlery Capital of the World [and much beautiful countryside] to a city famous for its lace, hosiery and its place in the History of Resistance to Uncontrolled Innovation in Industry. And back again. All by local train services. This lovely poem captures so much of the pleasure of watching the variety of everything through a train carriage window. Thank you Linda!
Posted 05/10/2014 09:02 AM
Larry Schug:
As Mick Jagger once said, "Take me to the station. Put me on a train." These words evoke a wonderful experience that's pretty much gone. Thanks for the ride.
Posted 05/10/2014 06:37 AM
linda... you have caught the joy and fascination of the Broadway Limited, the Pan Am, the San Francisco Chief and all those other terrific rides that, unfortunately, are only memories now. thanks for your poem!
Posted 05/10/2014 04:45 AM
Jean Colonomos-1:
Jean Colonomos A lovely ride and a lovely poem.
Posted 05/10/2014 12:01 AM
Just like the train ride itself. Full of wonder and wonderment.
Posted 05/09/2014 11:16 PM

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