Cultural Institution Blesok • Established 1998
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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 43 | volume VIII | July-August, 2005



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 43July-August, 2005

After a War

p. 2
Tim Philips

Train in the Snow
After a War


Train in the Snow

The hands of the trees tick-
Tocking past on the face of the snow
Had us mesmerised at first.
Then a village passed that shouldn't have,
And we blinked at a strange cemetery.
The wreaths sugary with frost
Flashed at us as if they were ours,
Then were gone. We drew the only conclusion:
Train off the rails!

Someone broke a joke like a bad egg,
Too late to be funny – we'd nearly demolished
His inlaws' place. Then
We were all lost friends, exchanging
Wills and last wishes we had
No hope in hell of fulfilling.
I thought of the Marx brothers going west,
Carving up the train to fuel the furnace,
Like feeding a fire-eater his own legs.

Our train lurched up a slope,
Crunched a wood, made a slice through a field
Like the first cut through a wedding cake,
Skidded, snorted, stopped.

Outside, at rest, we milled about,
Knee-deep in snow, gulping
Like surprised sheep.
A party of rooks came shuffling across a field
And, settling on a nearby tree,
Became a set of notes on a crooked stave.
Occasionally they ruffled themselves
Turning from crotchet to quaver
Or fell to the ground, discarded from the tune.
We had nothing to do but watch their music.
They didn't utter a sound.

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