The American Nomad


I hear the train whistle blowing

Steel wheels sing clickety-clack

The music of tanker and box car

A symphony of timber and track


It calls for me to travel on

Of the miles ahead there be many

I gather up my bindlestiff

Throw on my cap and Benny


She pulls a herd of Blackjacks but

An empty freight car is all I need

The travelling home for a hobo

Pulled hard by the steaming steed


With a belly full of rock soup

There are adventures to be had

And such is the wandering life

Of the great American nomad


17 Responses to “The American Nomad”
  1. That easily brought back the many visuals from those “old-time” Western movies! Well written!

  2. sudrakarma says:

    I love the descriptor “Steaming Steed” and the word, “bindlestiff”; I never heard that one before. This poem makes me think about our collective fascination with hobos and transients, as if we realize, deep down, that they enjoy a freedom we only dare fantasize about.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you, Sudra! They have a language all to themselves with some great words like “bindlestiff”. I do think we fantasize about the freedom they have and enjoy. I appreciate your kind support!

  3. K.L. Hale says:

    In my mind, I’m a nomad of many different times. There’s so much to love about this. Beautiful! Sending love and hugs dear friend. 💛🤗

  4. Bridgette says:

    This has a great rhythm and made me think about all the times I’ve watched the trains go by and wondered what would happen if I just hopped on one.

  5. I am fascinated by all the nomad lifestyles (I also loved the movie Nomad).

  6. beth says:

    such a fascinating poem about those who travel when and where they please in their own time and own way.

  7. petespringerauthor says:

    Like Geoff, I am fascinated by the traveling or nomad lifestyle. I’m too much of a homebody, but I am intrigued by those who make the world their home.

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