Granite Grumblings In the Cat's Eye
Riding in Boxcars Daydreams

Riding in Boxcars

In the Cat’s Eye

Riding in Boxcars is a collection of fifty-seven poems and photographs exploring our lives and our surroundings. The author has written from his own perspective, but in a way that relates to many of the issues that face all of us as we travel on the trains of our choosing through our lives.

Trains have a life of their own. Grumbling and rattling along, through the cities and countryside, they form their own ever-changing community. They are pulled apart and put together at the slightest whim, but they always retain their individuality. No two trains are ever exactly alike. Cars and riders are traveling together briefly, but they are all headed for different destinations.

As in life, trains have a certain class system. The engines and passenger cars get most of the glory; containers, hopper cars, tankers and various specialized carriers are soulless attachments. Certainly the engines are the leaders, dragging the rest along. The passenger cars and all the special diners, sleepers, etc. are where the upper class go for their luxury trips.

But no one rides in the passenger cars or drives the engines for very long. Most of life is actually lived making our own way through life and hopping rides in something similar to the old-fashioned boxcars. These are the places where baggage and pets are found, where life is kind of messy, and where the passengers get bumped and jostled by the journey’s starts and stops and sharp turns.

These are the cars that are sometimes open to the world and sometimes feel like a closed cubicle. We each manufacture our own boxcars and attach them to the different trains that come along in our lives. And that is what makes them special. We can and do hop off these cars frequently, searching for other trains to ride and other cars to build. Sometimes we find good ones and ride them to the end. Sometimes we wind up on a siding wondering what the heck happened.

When you ride in boxcars, you are never sure of the arrival time or even the destination. That’s what makes them so fascinating.

Reviews

Rolling through fields of bright images, you’ll soon find yourself deep in the heartland of the American experience.
Rick Broussard New Hampshire Magazine

Your poems touched my heart... a beautiful book.
Anita HickeyThe Book Swap Café

An incredible feat... .His taming of the English language transcends the realm of the literal; his poetry is a piping-hot mug of tea and your favorite armchair...the smell of wood grain in a log cabin, and his conceptual grasp of what it truly means to write is as satisfying as sitting on your father’s lap when you were a kid.
Michael Manahan Blast Magazine