Daily Prompt: The Power of Steam


” Efficiency is the ratio of useful work to resources  expended. In other words, the ratio of the output to the input of a given system.”


They say  steam engines were

Really  inefficient.

Yet they worked and so

Were icons of their time.


Their powerful engines hissed

As their gliding pistons swished

And the big wheels steadily turned

Upon the line.


Journeying far ‘cross country

Along parallel lines of  track

Their smokestacks burning brightly

There and back.


Generations mourn their passing

And old engines they have rescued

Recombining, reassembling

All from the scrap.


They hammer and they chisel

Blacksmithing with a sizzle

Engineering perfect pieces

Of great size.


And when the engine’s  finished

They admire her in her glory

Resurrected into power

To run once more.


Then the new steam comes a-fizzing,

From the smoke-stack wildly hissing

And along the lines it’s whizzing

Inefficient maybe yes.


But do we care?


For that  old engine it is running

And faithfully it is pulling

Is it not a most amazing sight to see?


And to smell the soot and grime

Feel the rhythm of the line

Is a special thing for all,


Especially me.


Poem and photo copyright to Englepip©






via Daily Prompt: Inefficient



_1500689Waiting at the station for the 9.15

And there’s a hustle and a bustle

And a whistle from afar.

Unawares,  I turn behind

And  I see the black express

Huffing and  a puffing

As it pushes down the line.

A mystery of noises

A character immense

Belting through the station

At enormous speed.

A little bit of history

A huge amount of steam

Heavy locomotive

Fired up like a dream.

And in a flash it’s passing

Carriages astern

The Bournemouth Belle

Has chugged on through

And left us in a whirl.


When this train came through I was totally unprepared, obviously from the number of other people with their cameras at the ready – they weren’t –  but what lovely start to a summer day it was.


via Daily Prompt: Express