HILL - On the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour Heading to British Columbia, Canada Saturday, April 25, 2015
Railroad Lullaby
by Debbie Okun Hill

rock, rock-roll, rock
rock, rumble-rock, roll

Metal cars on track
squeak, grind . . .
on railroad bed

This giant cradle
a rhythmic roll-rock
lone train rock-rattle
engine heart, a heated hearth

spruce scented
twig fingers
swoop and wave
like musical conductor

A poet with a guitar
strums soft,
soft slow chords
as we toss-turn
into lullaby slumber
into cloud pillows
with goose feathers

We rumble-rock-rest
like prairie bison
of mountain stream
this journey by rail

Each berth and sleeper
hushed by ghost breath
memories of passengers
wrapped in history’s quilt

Tonight, the stars lead us
deeper into fabled forests

rock- rumble, rock-squeak

And amongst these
dark moving images
lone bear blurred-blind
against window pane
you are not forgotten
as we wait for a signal
for that familiar whistle
to announce our arrival

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTO: This is one of several views from VIA Rail Canada’s Skyline Dome Car taken during the Great Canadian PoeTrain Train Tour heading towards British Columbia, Canada on Saturday morning, April 25, 2015.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I fell in love with train travel while participating in the first 2012 PoeTrain Express from downtown Toronto to the Spring Pulse Poetry Festival in Cobalt, Ontario. This April 2015, I joined 18 other poets for a unique April is Poetry month celebration on the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour. The tour started in Ottawa, with readings in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Vancouver. This poem was inspired by the rock-roll motion of the train while I rested on the upper berth of a shared cabin. A selection of train poems by Canadian poets will appear in The PoeTrain Anthology edited and compiled by Fran Figge and distributed this fall by PoeTrain Projects.

HILL - Debbie Okun Hill (colour websized) Photo Courtesy Melissa Upfold for The Calculated Colour Co.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Debbie Okun Hill is a Canadian poet with over 300 poems published in over 100 publications including Lummox, MOBIUS, Phati’tude, Still Points Arts Quarterly, and Thema in the United States. She is currently on tour with Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press, 2014) her first collection of poems by a trade publisher. Additional information about her literary journey can be found on her blog: http://okunhill.wordpress.com.

Author photo by Melissa Upfold (Calculated Colour Company).