The great Suffolk train ride

A residual stink
That acrid jarring of smells
Grating receptors and flashing memories
Of narrow escapes
Close shaves
The clawing tendrils of inertia
Rancid in manner
I squeeze my eyes tight, grin
Embracing this funk of what
Might have been.

We pull through Manningtree
Wondering the ghosts haunting
It’s industrial might
Desolate journeying through
Time’s very decay
In this error of modernisation
Thirty years dilapidation
The dead in the Dedham Vale

How well your dark flocks of sheep
Crowd your secret
As far removed from clouds
As your dark wet brickwork alleyways
And menacing piping
Anyone claiming this outpost of progress
Will need time and
Wealth to mobilise your dunes
Of crumbling rubble
Scrape habitable
Your vast concrete footprints
Me and my passenger friends
Flee North, hammering the short stretch
Of track left ‘train-friendly’
This far East

I love speed
Trees wave furiously
Frozen in streaks
Passing this great machine
We tear past bikers and dog walkers
The fluorescent smear of joggers,
Of heath-jumpers, bowl by the window
As a bright feeble January sun
Sweeps through the innards of our carriage
Painting faces and seats
In chilling reds and oranges
Until the next clutch of housing or industrial estates
Breaks those marvellous red beams

Inevitably someone impresses the brake
A forest of pylons
So gantry’s encase this slow snake.

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