The Sixpence II


From the old stone bridge

he could see her,

barefoot, on a platform

no longer there.

Under a moonlit slither

something shimmered

in her slowly closing hand

Her head slowly rising

Her eyes locking on his

Somehow, her face so clear

despite the distance

Her hand snapped shut!

He could see a well

Dark & slick with black moss

A door

Smell a drift of whiskey

A train chugged

He was back on the bridge

The girl gone

Was she on the train?

Chugger, chugger, chugger

It fast approached!

He bent over stone 

Eyes straining to see

A whistle sounded

It billowed steam from its

gleaming head

Like some great

mechanical whale

His face damp & glistening

He runs to the other side…


There's only broken track

And the whispering

of a cold night wind

And, now,

he's thirty years older

And still he waits

As a  gentle snow 

begins to flutter

He turns to walk away

And yet, beneath his feet

Something vibrates 

The whispering wind

begins to mumble

And, Slowly

And breathlessly

he turns his head…


◄ The Little Things

Dim Tim ►


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julie callaghan

Mon 6th Dec 2021 20:03

I love this. Fabulously spooky ghost story. I can picture the scenes as I read it over and over. Thank you.

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Stephen Atkinson

Mon 6th Dec 2021 18:43

Thanks for reading & commenting John! Appreciated.
And for the likes, Aisha, John & Holden ?

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John Botterill

Sun 5th Dec 2021 23:51

Fascinating narrative, Stephen. Eerie and moody. Loved it! John Botterill

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Stephen Atkinson

Sun 5th Dec 2021 22:40

Thanks for the comments Keith, Stephen & Greg! And, yes, nothing like a good old ghostly steam train...
And thanks for the like Saul.

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Stephen Gospage

Sun 5th Dec 2021 16:27

A poem of mystery and chills. I really enjoyed it!

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Greg Freeman

Sun 5th Dec 2021 16:00

A ghostly poem, if I'm not mistaken. All the best ghost stories include steam engines! Enjoyed this, Stephen.

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keith jeffries

Sun 5th Dec 2021 14:59

A story in a poem which enables the reader to be present. I wonder how many of the present generation could understand the thrill and excitement of steam engines.
Thank you for this. A good poem tinged with some nostalgia.

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