In my recessed mind I see the layout of the station.
Platform perched before a backdrop of stone-blocked,
Empty-windowed ticket hall and waiting room.
The lines, rusted brown but silver stripe atop
Sneaking ahead passed a short, stubby siding
That ends in a secret shed for goods or cattle truck,
Or maybe for the last Western Pannier Tank with its whistled croon.
And wiring into the station, gleaming green with brass valve, stack and sills,
It’s hooped plate announcing the ‘City of Truro’ over high drivers
With steamless piston valves, to stop for the waiting porter
And the commuter to Weymouth, and maybe his wife and daughter
Who stand endlessly still. Until the signal drops and the train
Plus coaches of brown and cream hesitate forward and click over the points,
Past that point, into the imaginary tunnel.
High above the station, above a layer of green sea-sponge trees
Above the steep angled, green-as-felt grass, sits a golden ruin,
Stone-arched bridge over the chasmed moat leading to gated mouth.
Presented by two low, bulging towers of smooth stone.
A gate-house, no dogs of war, just silence but the whirr of a train going south
And the burn of the sun like a spot-light on the scene.
The commuter, his daughter and his wife still stand waiting, aloof and serene
For the train to return at the click of the drivers dream.
The castle, the motte, the strait-sided ruin,
The shafts where sun, stone and gaping holes meet,
The history related, the facts well known:
Victors sated, gaping holes blown in the carcass
Of gold Portland stone.
The castle stands waiting, a ruin, a myth.
The castle stands waiting til Arthur comes home.
poem j.Johnson Smith
in memory of a model railway of Corfe Castle