A poem by Brian Bell
Nestled to the north of Gosford, overlooking Carey Bay,
is a scene of distant childhood, out of step with life today.
Fassifern was where it started. Steam and mist were rising high
as the crowded train departed, smoke confounding velvet sky.
Through the wooded hills and scenery, cradled by the solid rails,
sleepers flowed from luscious greenery to a lake of billowed sails.
Memory shows Toronto station - rustic buildings, platform clean,
peaceful change from education keeping youthful hearts serene.
Days beside the placid water, fishing, swimming, walking slow,
later watching bricks and mortar help to make a building grow.
Nights of playing cards and laughter over stories brave and bold,
nights that are more precious after many years of growing old.
Now, as I re-visit history, rails are rusting by the sea,
disconnecton such a mystery, like a past that's haunting me,
half-remembered dreams alighting to a platform clean and swept,
pie aroma so inviting from a counter neatly kept.
Yet at every turn I'm shaken by what's modern yet grotesque,
ghostly half-words as a kraken grappling with the picturesque -
youth misguided by their ego making random patterns hold,
like a sullen impetigo on a palace lined with gold.
Distant seems that ancient hour when, as children, we were keen.
What has turned the dreaming sour - what's the lesson still to glean?
Should the winter wind be sleety, hands of God will sprinkle snow,
cover this unkind graffiti in a cool and simple glow.
Words that stumble out of weakness show distortion's mirror cracked,
drown my heartstrings in a bleakness that denies a carriage packed,
yet a memory can endure, as the thought is turned around.
Time will cover what's impure, as a station falls to ground.