The Conductor

The Conductor

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

He wandered along the Pullman car
As if he owned the train,
And wore the badge of ‘Conductor’ and
A whistle on a chain,
He carried a block of tickets that
Were printed differently,
With various towns and places from
The inland to the sea.

He’d walk from behind the driver, from
The front up to the back,
His steps in time to the rhythm of
The train, its clicketty-clack,
He wouldn’t look at the passengers
Unless their eyes were strained,
But then would pause with his ticket block
To see which ones remained.

And then, as if he divined the stress
Each passenger went through,
He’d tear off one of the tickets, as
He would, for me or you,
And suddenly they’d be on a beach
Or resting in some town,
And making love to a red-haired wench
Just as the sun went down.

The train continued its journey with
Its steady clicketty-clack,
The passenger sitting limply with
His eyes, empty and black,
While ever the train’s conductor walked
Along the swaying aisle,
Dispensing the tickets on the block
For mile on endless mile.

Then once at their destination he
Would blow a single note,
Using that tiny whistle hanging
Chained down by his throat,
And all of the passengers would wake,
Their eyes no longer black,
Marvelling at the dreams they’d had
While travelling on that track.

If ever you board that certain train
Be sure to be aware,
And look long at the conductor,
As he walks; No, even stare!
Then if he pauses in front of you
Think where you’d like to be,
And watch as he peels your ticket off,
Your ride to ecstasy.

David Lewis Paget

© 2016 David Lewis Paget


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Reviews

A amazing tale my friend. I enjoyed the flow of thoughts leading to very good ending. Thank you David for sharing the excellent poetry and tale.
Coyote

Posted 3 Years Ago


I appreciate that your writing always tells a story. Narrative poetry is really the best sort..
..Misty

Posted 3 Years Ago


This makes me think of life as a train, and the Conductor as Death, giving us tickets to where we will spend the afterlife :) As usual, your poems always bring the most lovely visions and spark my imagination

Posted 3 Years Ago


Another cautionary success, David. Like a flame, which burns - your write. Like a flame, you guide. Bravo. Fantastic, as usual. You continue to live up to the standard you have forged.

Phoenix

Posted 3 Years Ago


Never been on a train but your poem made me curious as to what it'd be like. Excellent tale.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Oh what a delicious trip this would be! You have woven a fantastic tale through the seemingly innocuous and I applaud you for that. The conductor is no ordinary one, for that matter who is an ordinary man of service? The constancy of the everyday objects and everyday beings makes you realize how visceral our experiences and thoughts are. One would be fanciful to imagine the Conductor as the very anthropomorphized figure of time itself. One that moves, one that reminds, one that makes the mere passage of life accountable.
Thanks for the read request. This has been an exceptional ride.
Best,
M.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Fantastic, and I can think of a few places I would love to go and see. I love trains and my favorite trip was on one. Do you know that conductors phone number? Valentine

Posted 3 Years Ago



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440 Views
7 Reviews
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Added on November 18, 2016
Last Updated on November 20, 2016
Tags: Pullman, train, ticket, dreams

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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