Mighty Big Boy ~ video poem

 

Mighty Big Boy

Comin’ down the tracks,
ground beneath me shakes.
Rollin’ right along,
steam left in its wake.

Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.
Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.

Wheels keep on turnin’,
giant pistons pound.
Six thousand horses
pawin’ at the ground.

Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.
Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.

Massive behemoth,
here for all to see,
rollin’ cross-country.
Piece of history.

Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.
Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.

Put out to pasture,
glory days long gone.
Still a stirring sight
worthy of a song.

Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.
Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.

This poem is my response to Poetics: Oral Poetry, the prompt from Ingrid at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which asks us to begin without putting pen to paper – “say the words in your head, or repeat them out loud, trying “to complete the poem as far as possible without writing it down. Think about the devices discussed above: regular rhythms, repeated phrases or ‘motifs’, alliteration and rhyme schemes – anything to aid the memory and help the words to flow.”

I went out on Tuesday to see a steam locomotive, “Big Boy 4014.” Union Pacific purchased 25 “Big Boy “ locomotives in the 1940s. Eight still exist, and this engine is the only one that is operational and not in a museum. 4014 was retired in 1959 and was converted from coal to oil when its restoration was completed in 2019. The engine produces 6200 horsepower at 41 mph. With its tender, it is 132 feet in length and is the largest operating locomotive in the world. It came through my town, yesterday and today, and it will complete its tour by returning to its home in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

I started composing this as I edited the photos I took this morning, pausing to type each stanza as I progressed.

If you have the time, check out my poem A Giraffe Lullaby, posted 25 Sept 2019. I think it actually fits this prompt.

39 thoughts on “Mighty Big Boy ~ video poem

  1. That’s a beauty of an engine and the well-preserved cars that follow. When I see someone cares enough to preserve something like this it does my heart good. So cool it is traveling around so people can enjoy seeing it in action. Fitting and admirable tribute poem and video to honor it. Nice job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a wonderful response, Ken. My son Benji will absolutely love your video: he is crazy about trains, and he used to know all the words to the Union Pacific song. I think your poem would also work well as a song – I love how the refrain mimics the sound of the engine chugging along!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “six thousand horses pawin’ at the ground”
    magnificent Ken, just stupefyingly splendid

    none of my words can adequately support
    such power, but yours do the job very well

    thank you for sharing your vision. thank you for
    sharing your experience.

    Thank You.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful, Ken. It’s so strange, but I read the poem first and heard it as a song. For some reason, I expected you to be playing a guitar and singing in the video. 🤣

    In any case, great job with poem and video. It’s so cool that they’ve preserved the train.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OH KEN!!!! I love, love this poem, your reading! I have had a life long love affair with trains. Listening to their whistles in early morn delights me more than I can explain. I am envious of your visit with Big Boy 4014!!! One more time … one more time. Yes, and worthy of a song.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. man, I love the image of the little boy in the lower left at the beginning… and then the man in the orange shirt following the caboose at the end.

    poetry at the edges, and straight down the middle, too ~

    Liked by 1 person

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