Derailed

(A piece of prose poetry)

(Public domain image rendered in the style of Van Gogh in the Deep Dream Generator.)

Derailed.

Unwittingly dislodged.

Forcefully shunted into uncharted territory.

Surrounded by raw materials, but without the wherewithal to cobble together a new track.

No bed to lay down.

No sleepers.

Anchored to nothing.

Braced for the unknown.


This piece is an allegory, using imagery of a train being derailed along with the various elements of laying down train tracks. The deeper meaning is the personal journey one takes that has been thrown a major curveball in life (obvious, I know.)

The train has been derailed, as has your life.

No bed refers to the necessary ballast bed, or foundation, required to lay train tracks. It also speaks to the weariness that accompanies a major life change.

No sleepers refers to the railway sleepers (railroad ties), as well as the poor sleep and insomnia that can set in during trying times.

Steel spikes are anchored to the sleepers through a process called anchorage. The steel rails are then laid on the sleepers between the steel spikes. Being anchored to nothing emphasizes that the rails have no sleeper anchorage to set in; demonstrating the inability to lay rail and move forward. Sudden life changes can leave you paralyzed in this same way. You could sink into oblivion or drift away, but you don’t have a clear path forward or any concrete ideas to allow you to move forward.

Rails are also anchored and braced to keep the rails in place and ensure track safety. In life, it behooves you to brace for whatever unknown changes lie around the corner.

Note: I am certainly not a railway engineer, so I pulled the railway details from the website of a company called Railway Fasteners. The following is the web address of the informational article they posted. http://www.railway-fasteners.com/news/how-to-build-a-railway-track.html (This is not an affiliate link, just a nerdy one. 😂)

Thoughts? Musings? Pertinent ramblings of your own? Please share!

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