A Train of Thought

My step dad, Robin, passed away a short time ago at the ripe old age of 94.  An incredible man, he lived an incredible life, including working at Bletchley Park codebreaking during the war, putting out fires at ST Paul's Cathedral, living in Australia, India, Ireland and Scotland and writing numerous books in his role as a well respected minister and scholar.  He met my mum again after 50 years, proposed by letter from Melbourne, then they married and commuted between Edinburgh and Australia for nearly ten years before settling in Scotland.  They had second lives together and he was always interested in all aspects of people's lives.  He loved trains, and I wrote this in honour of him.

A Train of Thought

He did not only drive the train,

He stoked the coal, he checked the dials,

His like will not be seen again,

His tracks extend for many miles.


A driver, clear with vision true,

His steady pace would set the tone,

Fixed and straight, but guiding too,

And whistling, never one to moan.


He dug through hills, formed bridge and ditch,

He laid strong tracks where few have been,

His faults were few, his strengths so rich,

A heart so strong, a mind so keen.


But he would also walk the line,

And check each bolt was safe and right,

Content in labours, words so fine,

How he could talk, how he could write!


Now as his train has rolled away,

His body has run out of steam,

Think not of him in a sad way,

But as a raindrop sees a stream.


And if your eyes begin to water,

Let go the tears and clear the smoke,

Remember how our lives much shorter,

Can feel so shallow, like a joke.


Steam trains do not just need a fire,

But coal and water, soon are gone.

His lasting flame will not expire,

And solid, fluid, life goes on.



◄ The Slam

When Clio met Rio... For Better or Verso... ►


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M.C. Newberry

Wed 4th Jul 2018 16:52

A fine eulogy, with some memorable lines. I especially like
the verse commencing "Now as his train has rolled away" - and ending "But as a raindrop sees a stream". Good to see
rhyme display its strengths in this way.

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