Archives for posts with tag: transportation


Photo: “It’s almost eerie that the city that never sleeps is at a standstill” by Kavita Dalal. 



Poem by Stephen Dunn

After the teacher asked if anyone had

            a sacred place

and the students fidgeted and shrank


in their chairs, the most serious of them all

            said it was his car,

being in it alone, his tape deck playing


things he’d chosen, and others knew the truth

            had been spoken

and began speaking about their rooms,


their hiding places, but the car kept coming up,

            the car in motion,

music filling it, and sometimes one other person


who understood the bright altar of the dashboard

            and how far away

a car could take him from the need


to speak, or to answer, the key

            in having a key

and putting it in, and going. 

Photo: Paul Gorbould

“The Sacred” by Stephen Dunn is included in Good Poems, American Places Selected and Introduced by Garrison Keillor. Find the book at



Poem by Philip Bryant

I heard the
locomotion behind
the album by Monk my father
was playing.
The finely tuned
machine humming like
a top, purring like a kitten.
The first time I
saw the Santa Fe “Super Chief”
at Union Station in Chicago,
gleaming as a silver bullet
carrying the blue uniformed
conductor who gave a low whistle
and “All Aboard” for places as far away as Kansas,
Laredo, Tucson, Las Vegas, Palm Springs.
At that point
I knew it all had
something to do with jazz music.
The slow hiss of
the engine, the steam
let out by the jowls of the locomotive,
and the massive, muscular wheels turning
slowly counterclockwise to the engine’s beat
Come on Baby Do the Locomotion
Come on Baby Do the Locomotion With Me
heading out onto the open tracks,
that smoke-blown phrase repeated
over and over in my head through the years,
as miles of the real American landscape
began, slowly, to unfold.

Photo: “Santa Fe Super Chief at Chicago’s Dearborn Station”  (closed in 1971) by Harold A. Edmonson, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Music mentioned “Locomotive” by Philip Bryant: “Locomotive” by Thelonius Monk — from his album Straight, No Chaster (1967) — listen to “Locomotive” here. “The Loco-Motion” (1962) written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King led to a dance craze of the same name — watch Little Eva perform “The Loco-Motion” at this link.