The Engineer

Old men who have foolish ideas and no self control
Old women who play the victim and sulk
Middle aged men who want to walk away
Middle aged women who live vicariously through their children
Brave young men who try to pick up the torch
Brave young women who fight for their rights
Children who have no idea what they’re in for
Babies who are innocently self absorbed

And last: the caretaker who overcharges for his services

All of them get on a speeding train
The tracks abruptly end six miles ahead
But the engineer jumps at the last minute
Preserving his life alone
The crowd observing this catastrophe
Congratulates him on a job well done
And he’s given the key to the city
Drinks on the house
As everyone turns their backs on the smoking ruin

This poem, if you want to call it that, is as close as I’ve ever come to automatic writing. You dear reader are welcome to interpret it any way you like. 

48 thoughts on “The Engineer

  1. Automatic writing… you are in good company… Blake, Yeats, the Surrealists… a great absurdist quality to this… even Bunuel like in the way his cowardice is rewarded. Excellently done, I will be back shortly to read part 6.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Out of this world, as automatic writing should be! I see that people claim to be able to teach how to “do” automatic writing. Codswallop, or balderdash! Choose your own word. I used to try automatic writing with a couple of friends, where we would each pose a question and write whatever came from that. Thanks for rekindling the memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve figured out where part of this came from. The Amtrak engineer responsible for a terrible crash in Philadelphia last year, was charged with manslaughter – that was in the news this week. The rest of it? No idea!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right! The key to a door that leads to an endless hallway of doors. I wish I knew more about the symbolism of dreams. Although I am a little skeptical that the images have the same meaning for different people. What could signify comfort for one could be a nightmare for another. Just my opinion…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You have summarized the basic difference between Freud (same or similar meaning) and Jung (individual to each of us). Carl Jung is well worth reading as a guide to individual creativity and the meaning of symbols.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent…. The engineer is a dark character… I am thinking of many historic leaders from the Past… Particularly in the context of the Second World War…. Thank you for sharing this one (and for connecting!)… Have a nice week! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Matt. I let this one spill out so I’m not sure where it came from either. Now I view it this way: I think there is a perversity in being fascinated by bad news. The being appalled but not being able to look away, maybe…

      Liked by 1 person

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