Almanac Poetry: Ghost Train

The exterior of this “House of Horror” in Prater Amusement Park, Vienna, was just a bit more elaborate than its “Ghost Train” equivalent in the Geelong Show’s sideshow alley! (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.)




Ghost Train
(at the Geelong Show, when I was a child)


with a guttural roar,
the creature leapt from the dark.
My heart almost jumped from my throat.
But a kid at the back of the Ghost Train,
in the carriage behind mine,
attacked the humanoid being
with – upon a closer look –
suspicious rubbery skin.
There was a struggle.
During the fracas,
the monster guy ripped in half
a brown paper bag
belonging to the kid.
Soon the ride ended.
“I’ve lost my lunch!”
the kid exclaimed
as we emerged into daylight.
He held the torn-off top of his bag.
But he wasn’t unhappy;
in fact, he was grinning
– he’d grappled with a monster,
and emerged unbowed,


(Acknowledgement: first published in Sage Cigarettes, USA, 2019.)



Read more from Kevin Densley HERE


Kevin Densley’s latest poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, is available HERE


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Kevin Densley is a poet and writer-in-general. His fourth book-length poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, was published in late 2020 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.


  1. Roger Lowrey says

    I have probably been on the same one Kevin. I imagine the resident Ghost Train in question at the Geelong Show is one and the same beast with not only the beast I rode as a kid, but also, the same beast I took our kids on many years later. I hope Wittingslows were smart enough to claim depreciation on their tax. RDL

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, RDL, for the comments. I reckon you were almost certainly on the same vehicle, and your kids would’ve been, too – nothing much ever changed in my decades going to the Geelong Show.

    And the funniest, most interesting thing about the kid at the back of the train in my poem is that I’m certain he went on it with the express (pardon the pun) intention of ripping the rubbery covering off the monster’s head to reveal the individual beneath it. Geez, there was a big scuffle in the dark as they fought battle!

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