Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Naugatuck Line No. 2


Train Departing

The past is a cacophonous tumult
a maelstrom of melodies
some singing
some wailing
some marching defiantly. 

A railroad coach abandoned half way up the Naugatuck Valley
it's ruined upholstery, a nesting place for rodents and small birds
the meaning of the train
the track
the valley 
whiplash through time 
factory gears flash
amassing brassy fortunes
sparking dreams
winning wars
grinding lives to ash
populating suburbs with 2-car families. 
If not quite music, may it be chaos akin to the orchestra tuning up!
The black track along the river, where does it come from, where does it lead?

On the side of the coach a swastika has been spray-painted, an ancient tune. 
Who put it there and when? How does it reverberate out of the valley's past? How does it partake of the Valley's bigotries and rivalries, its compromises and its compassion?  Or is it the scornful howl of those who have come unhinged from history, beside the walls of Bedlam while the rest of us try to remember the past.


Ginnie said...

Absolutely soulful and wonderful, Ted. I can just imagine all the stories from the past...and from now, for this photo op! I LOVE trains, especially here in Europe.

Ted Roth said...

Thank you Ginnie, Alas, we really have no trains in the U.S., but you know that. Very sad!

jeannette said...

The perfect pic! In 6th grade I used to commute by train (in Holland) from my house to school -good memories:)

Ted Roth said...

Hi Jeanette. Thanks for visiting. I have hopes the trains you used to get to school are still running. Much of the track on the Naugatuck Line is gone and there is only regulartrin service on half of the line. I grew up in New York City and had 45 minute subway ride to school each day. Yes, lots of terrific memories.

Tim said...

Trains are wonderful and I'm always pulled in by discarded machinery wondering about its past.

Ted Roth said...

Thanks Tim. Yes, rust is irresistible.

Trotter said...

Sad to see trains, ships, planes stopped...
Navegar é preciso...

Ted Roth said...

This one may get a chance to roll again. Naugatuck Railroad is a hobbyist group that is restoring some of these and running excursions.