CHUG ALONG THROUGH THE VALLEY

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Chug along through the valley of the big woods,

Where steam, rail, and endless tracks of time stood,

Has time seen empty beds of man’s efforts gone?

Ties took up, the rails scrapped, progress all wrong.

…………………………………………………………………………………..

Coal power locomotives once roam free,

Across these northern hills of a gentle breeze,

Stations dotted east to west, freight markets found,

Now the beast cannot be seen, stopped at small towns.

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The mighty engines hauling cars a mile long,

Have been replaced with truckers singing sad songs,

Lonely highways line the city sights instead.

There are fewer rail road crossings ahead.

………………………………………………………………………….

Chug along the memories that grandpa saw,

Time is gone lessons learned are common law,

Days are laced with golden bells of liberty,

Waste it, make another, and throw it free.

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Time stands still for no man when progress is near.

Right or wrong directions go forth without fear.

Listen to the jingle like the old song goes.

Chug along the valley looking out below.

…………………………………………………………………..

Disregard common sense to save a nickel.

Don’t think we will ever be in a pickle.

Life goes on without a care to older days.

When the gas is gone we’ll just run away.

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Chug along without tracks or the B & O,

Take a ride on the Reading and go, go, go,

Get your wheel barrel ready, roll the dice,

If you roll you a double you may go twice.

…………………………………………………………………..

Chug along without trains or automobiles,

The future looks brighter without any wheels.

If you think we are playing a game, it’s true.

When the rural train tracks left future’s hope flew.

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Comments 11 comments

wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

Wonderful. Think we would have been better off with the trains chugging away.


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

I think so, too. My dad's grandfather and his brothers worked the railroad. In their days trains stopped in nearly every town. Thanks for stopping by, wetnosedogs.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Yup, my dear. Romantic memories my kids will never know. ;-)


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

A nice tribute to the old rail system and the coal burning locomotives belching steam and sparks of fire all along the valleys of our memory.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Luckily, trains go through my area. I am so glad that they aren't a part of the past...yet.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

I really enjoyed reading this hub....I have always been fascinated with trains...and reading your hub brought back some memories of traveling across the country with my grandmother when I was 12 years old. Thanks for shaking loose that memory...it is greatly appreciated.


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

Thank you so much for the response, Mhatter99, whonunuwho, aviannovice, and Cogerson. I tried to put as much though as possible in this poem. Where I live miles and miles of abandoned rail beds lie with each little piece going back to the land owners. Some tracks were gone long before my time, but I still have fond memories of the freight passing by my grandparents farm which no longer remains. We had no worry about gas prices back in those days.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Loved the memories it evoked, especially of the long-distance steam trains and crunching the cinders as we walked along the corridor the next morning. Some of the old steam trains still take people on nostalgic rides locally on a Sunday in these parts. I love to hear their whistle.


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

They have one twenty miles or so from here which takes tourist on a scenic journey on weekends and holidays through the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Thanks, BlossomSB for stopping in for a ride down memory lane.


old albion profile image

old albion 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Diana. This wonderful poem brings back memories of yesteryear. I can really hear that lonely whistle blow. The wheels of progress have turned and now the old ways, the characters and machines are all gone.

voted up and all / following.


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 3 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

I put a great deal of thought into this poem. I think we were much better off when the trains went through small towns. A hundred years ago every town had a depot. Now there are miles and miles of empty rail road beds. Thanks for taking the trip down memory lane with me, old albion, as I recall what my grandparents saw.

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