Posted by: Ron DuBour | April 4, 2014

Gandydancers


Poesy plus Polemics

Photo at portolarailroaddays.com Photo at portolarailroaddays.com

Unpretentious immigrants
Cut their garroting bonds
To hardships of homeland
American barons
Resignedly welcomed
Their millions of muscles
The fuel of their sweat
Eager micks, wops and chinks
Flocked to fallow frontiers
Still seeded with promise
Of liberty’s premise
All men are born equal

Joined up in work gangs
Sinews straining and bent
To hoisting and heaving
Iron flat-bottomed rails
Thirty-nine feet in length
They settled each ton
Upon rough axe-hewn sleepers
The gandy teams straddled
To brace ill-shod feet
At a signal they plunged
Stout angle-spurred rods
Down with powerful stabs
Into ballast-stone beds

Then in well-rehearsed
Straight-armed unison leaned
Hauling back on those rods
With a full-bodied force
Producing sharp tugs
Expelling deep grunts
That relieved their taut backs
Then again and again
Stab, lean, tug and grunt
Stab, lean, tug and grunt
In a rhythmical dance
Beat to primitive chants

Each musical phrase
Gained…

View original post 129 more words


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