Sunday, January 30, 2011

Building Trucks

Steel plates, beams and castings come together in the factory to form assemblies, then frames, and finally trucks. It always fascinated me to watch it happen--plates and beams moved into place by fork trucks to be bolted into assemblies, assemblies hanging on chains from overhead cranes, gliding slowly through the air, until all met at the welder's station. Some of the trucks they made could carry a 400-ton payload. I wondered how the welders felt, holding the power to make such an incredible machine. 

Building Trucks

This skeleton I shape
Will soon be clothed in strength
To haul a hundred tons of stone
Gouged out of the mountain.

Now it hangs in pieces
Bound with chains,
Hollow pieces revealed
Joints unfashioned,

Awaiting the touch of fire
From my hand.

copyright 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ghost in the Factory

The factory was never quiet--not even at night when much of it was shut down. Even earplugs didn't block the constant roar of the massive ventilation system. Its noise became a new kind of silence by drowning out all other sounds--a footstep, a sigh, the rustle of clothing--and with the lights dimmed and a mist of weld smoke swirling slowly up to the ceiling before being pushed by fans into the night air, some areas were almost eerie. So when something a little odd happened, especially more than once and always in the same area....

The Ghost in Subrail Assembly

Friday midnight,
In that silence
Of factory's resting roar,
Through lingering twilight haze of welding smoke,
A flash of white seizes the eye.
The head follows too slowly--
It is gone.
Then gooseflesh on neck, arms,
Finally a feathery touch,
Fleeting, gentle,
At waist or shoulder,
Almost a caress.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Before I became a corporate communications specialist, I actually did use some of the knowledge of welding I gained at great loss of dignity and confidence (YOU see what it's like to have a spark down your shirt), doing ultrasound checks of welds to make sure they had no flaws. I worked second shift and sometimes had to stay over four. A casual comment from a third-shifter one of those nights led to this more traditional, rhyming, poem:

Third Shift

I lay beside her briefly before I left for work tonight.
She didn't even know when I arose.
I crept into the hall before I turned on any light,
And silently slipped into my clothes.

In the room across the hall the baby sleeps
In the glow of her Cookie Monster light.
A dream of breast-warm milk moves her tiny cheeks
As I walk out alone into the night.

An empty tar-dark highway leads me miles away
Into a world of noise and fire and smoke,
Where I carve steel into parts for unseen trucks,
And dream about my wife in bed at home.

copyright 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Grandmothers Who Weld

I tried to learn to weld once. Not because I wanted to, but because the company I worked for decided I was surplus. Instead of laying me off, they offered to train me for another position. "Cool," I said, not realizing how ironic that was.

I'm told many women make good welders. I'm not one of them. I discovered by trying to weld that what I had thought for years was good concentration was really just an ability to drag myself back to the subject after my mind wandered--and with it, my torch.

But two good things came out of my experience: a humorous essay, which I'll share down the road if it doesn't find a home elsewhere, and this poem. 


Those who know you at work
Call you cold steel,
But I know you better.
My passion, a molten pool,
Follows the seams of your body,
Sealing them to me.
We craft our love
Steel strong and solid,
And when done,
You still glow with heat,
And I am burned by the sparks.

copyright  2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello, world!

I'm Angela Parson Myers, one-time newspaper staff writer, retired corporate communicator, freelance writer and author of paranormals. I'm shopping my urban fantasy novel, "When the Moon Is Gibbous and Waxing," and doing final edits on an SF/paranormal novelette, "Not in the Wind." Sequels to both are sitting in Scrivner waiting to be developed, as are two more novels--one urban fantasy and one SF. I'll be sharing some of my poetry, essays, and short fiction, and later the first few chapters of my novels and novelettes.

The background of this blog is a photo of Reelig Glen near Beauly, Scotland, I took in September 2010. The forest is so old and thick I kept expecting fairies and wood sprites to peek up over the moss-covered trunks of fallen trees. I hope to be able to share more of my photography on this site, also.

Please join me on my ramblings--verbal and photographic. Hello, world! It's good to be here.