The Locomotive

A locomotive stands at a station
Looming, and gleaming with hot perspiration
Greasy and wheezing.

It’s huffing and puffing and oozing and swelling
Heat’s bursting from its immense smelly belly
Oof – how hot it is!
Poof – how hot it is!
Oof – how hot it is!
Poof – how hot it is!

It’s hardly breathing, wheezing so heavily
And still the stoker more coal is shovelling

Dozens of wagons are noisily coupled
Heavy, enormous, of all kinds of metal,
And every wagon’s ever so full,
The first full of horses, next one of wool,
And in the third ride fat-bellied dummies
Sitting and eating greasy salamis,
And the fourth wagon’s packed with bananas,
And in the fifth stand six grand pianos,
The sixth has a cannon – o! what a monster!
Under each wheel a beam for a bolster,
Seventh holds tables and wardrobes and chairs,
The eighth two giraffes, an elk, and three bears,
The ninth carries piglets as fat as you please,
And in the tenth are crates with TV’s,
And of these wagons there’s forty all told,
I can’t tell myself what they can all hold.

If there came a thousand Olympic athletes,
And each had a thousand veal cutlets to eat,
And these tried to move it, no matter what,
They could not budge it, it weighs such a lot!

Suddenly – woosh!
Suddenly – push!
Steam – poof!
Wheels – move!

Sluggish – at first – like a snail – slowly creeping,
Shuddered – and shuffled – the engine – still sleepy,
And clatter the couplings, struggle and squeal,
Turning, and turning, is wheel after wheel,
And picking up speed it pushes and pushes,
And clicking and knocking it rattles and rushes,
And where to? And where to? And where to? Straight on!
A bridge, and a church, and a cutting, and gone,
Through mountains, through tunnels, through woods, down the line
It hurtles and hurries to get there on time,

Easily, busily, roll on the wheels,
As if the thing were a toy, and not steel,
Not a great engine, red-hot and racing,
A toy for a boy, a knick-knack, a plaything.

And wherefrom, and whereto, and why does it rush?
What gives it, what gives it, what gives it the push?
That it huffs, and it puffs. and it whistles hiss-hiss?
It is the hot steam that drives it like this,
The steam, from the boiler, through pipes, to the pistons,
The pistons which there-and-back slide in the system,
They slide, and they glide, and the train keeps on rolling,
The steam drives the pistons, so, pushing and pulling,
Wheels chatter and clatter on, quicker than quick,
Clickety, clickety, clickety, click…

Julian Tuwim

Wersja polska „Lokomotywa”

Wróć do artykułu