Category Archives: beside the highway


Cities have their  “First Night”

A multi-culture delight…

Oft fireworks

Are among the perks,

In all a beautiful sight!

The wife and I will be home,

Like Christmas, pretty much alone…

Community dinner

Will warm our winter,

TV programs mostly for the young!

On Cable we’ll find a movie,

Or go to bed early (so groovy!)…

A time slot we’ve made

For the Rose Bowl Parade,

After that, we’re not as choosy!

Praise God for another year,

To grow in the Spirit to hear…

His inner voice

And making the choice

To grow closer to Him so dear!

–Jonathan Caswell

Picture from a recent Worcester, Mass. First Night celebration.


The covered bridge creaked when it saw,

How big the plow was, in awe…

“Don’t cross here

“It’ll cost us dear,

The river will swallow us all!”



All that heavy metal,

Snow tests its mettle…

If no snow plow

Run through anyhow,

Even small engines are not little!



On my way to work an entrance lane

So often becomes a pain…

What do folks intend

When the KNOW it must end,

Clear signage they’re ignoring again!

One or two actually try passing,

One tells by the speed they’re amassing…

Sneaking by on the right

Close enough to cause fright,

From the car model, they are typecasting.

Some act like it’s the exit ahead,

Common sense in this world appears dead…

Several car-lengths along

Do the realize they were wrong?

I don’t think it enters their heads!

Speaking of turn signals going,

Today a driver was slowing…

Ignored the exit ramp

SPED UP with winking lamp,

Merged into traffic not knowing?

One is tempted to make wisecracks,

Driver’s iicenses in Cracker Jacks…?

In the box as a prize–

Do they not see with eyes–

Thank the Lord the route has no railroad tracks!

–Jonathan Caswell



Via local channels,

Little plots sprout solar panels…


Is gone like that,

In woodland creature annals!

Every old gravel pit

And lots of the newer ones fit…

Being filled with arrays

To catch sun rays,

For energy profit.

Producing energy costs,

Much higher the birds lost…

Killed by spinning

Blades thinning,

Out enormous flocks!

But who needs all that dead wood,

Just “trash”–no good–

People vote

The almighty volt,

But never have understood.

–Jonathan Caswell

(An opinion piece)


How many times has a boy,

Adolescent tried such a ploy…

Or as a joke

Over campfire smoke,

The girl likely said…”DOI!”*

This picture is of transfer,

From railroad to truck as it were…

Or the other way ’round

The boxcars bound,

In or out for customers!

Local industry

Can store/ship conveniently…

Supplies aren’t lost

To environmental cost,

The railroad helps their profitability.

–Jonathan Caswell

(Google Image of a storage and transfer facilitgy recently opened in Batavia, New York,

*”DOI”…a term by teens that means, roughly…”You dummy”…or “I can’t believe you tried that on me!”


IMAGE from:

Rearranging to see,

Works best imaginarily…

Power plants offstage

Are all the rage,

Illusion necessarily!

The said industrial lead,

Curving into a mirror succeeds…

At least for my eyes

Suggest beyond lies,

The  rail yard a power plant needs.

Between a mill and old store,

Rail cars are parked, one or more…

Coal and limestone

Go “in” and are “gone”*

Wood chips,old tires and more!

Some places burn up trash,

N scale neighbors objected fast!

Objecting to smell–

And vermin, they tell–

But  they’re okay with biomass!

*Gone…cars picked up by hand and replaced by outbound empties or out-coming fly fly-ash and scrap metal.


What do southern railroads ship,*

The mighty and useful wood chip…

Used for fuel burning

Or products discerning,

Or hauled to Europe by ships!

Not all wood chip trains are southern,

Burlington Electric*–another one…

Vermont’s goal

To burn less coal,

Making saw dust and chips “well-done”.

Trains take the chips to the plant,

Silencing critics who rant…

About wasted fuel

Train efficiency rules,

While barges on shallow rivers just can’t!

–Jonathan Caswell

(Photo is from Google Images…of wood chip loading into railroad cars on the GEORGIA WOODLANDS RAILROAD.)


Walking in winter wonderlands,

Along a railroad silent for years…

Thinking of times when commerce was alive

And rumbling train cars ran through here.

Coal trains once

Traced these frozen shores….

The kind of trains environmentalists hate—

Smoke scrubbers came too late!

Salt cars run occasionally,

Bringing out wealth from underneath…

Barely enough to keep this line going

When that’s gone, abandonment is brief.

–Jonathan Caswell

(Remembering the line running north from Ithaca, NY, that serviced a coal-fired power plant and a salt mine.  This picture was taken in the same area.)


At work there’s an extra-long hallway,

Some walk it several times a day…

For coffee I go

The whole way though,

My cane helping all the way!

Espresso from the machine is weak,

Drink a “turbo shot”* I’ll hardly speak…

Machine espressos pour

At least four,

Any more, I’d be up for a week!

Two turbos* in coffee iced,

At  the drive-through are so nice…

“Dunkin Donuts” coffee

Is stronger (whoo-wee!),

“Turbo” taste is strong over ice!

Still long walks do me good,

Multiple trips when I could…

One evening, oh my!

The machine was dry,

But for hot chocolate, which would!

–Jonathan Caswell

*Turbo shots are a particular coffee additive available at DUNKIN DONUT shops.