Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Road Never Travelled . . .

There have been a few requests, voices borne upon the wind, reaching my ears in the deepest of night's dark hours, for more poems . . . It is true, I hesitate to publish my poems here, I rather suspect many of them are pushing the comfort zone a bit, stretching into the realm of the questionable, the dubious, the downright obnoxious. I feel particularly naked when reciting my scraps of poems in public. Much of my poetry such as it is, echoes the sad and desolate place the world is becoming, as we race ever faster into an uncertain future . . . which is exactly what this one is about . . .
.
.
I Never Even Look
.
.
By the side of the road
I take to work every day
Where it goes up and over a hill
There is a small dirt road turn-off
And an abandoned house rotting there
That I never look at as I drive by
Light brown dirt and rocks
In the ragged trail
A dark green plank door off its hinges
Leaning against a stone wall
The dirt track goes up to the field beyond
I can see it in my mind’s eye
Although I never even glance that way
As I drive by
Bent on getting to work
And starting yet another dreary day
In the coal mines of my existence
Behind the blue and yellow prison bars
Of the barbed wire factory
Where airplanes and trucks come and go
Belching great clouds of poisonous fumes
To darken the horizon
.
And each day when the weather is nice
There is a girl standing in the place
I have never seen
Leaning against the old house
She is young, very young
But not all that young
She wears black leather boots
Tight skirts a blue nylon parka
With fake fur around the cuffs and hood
The rise of pert breasts
Suggested under a white sweater
Sometimes holding an umbrella
In case of sudden showers
And her face is a mystery
Because I have never ever looked
At any of these details
She may be from Kiev or Kosovo
Or Smolensk or Slovakia
How would I know
I never saw her
.
And today going by
I was in the left lane
Passing a slower car going up the hill
Driving a little too fast
Late for work as usual
I definitely purposely did not turn my head
To see her new purple parka
Nor wonder as I never do
Where she goes with her clients
And what exactly she does with them
That sexy young girl in dark stockings
Who I have never seen
.
And I wasn’t looking in the mirror
To catch another glimpse
Of her radiant innocence
When a truck pulled out in front of me
And I didn’t see the heavy metal tailgate
Approaching at what seemed to be
The speed of light
.
.

19 comments:

Jota Willem said...

nice blog!
i really like this post
good luck in france
see you!

kosstinn said...

Nice poem. I suggest you keep posting them.

@eloh said...

Good, dark. I hope most people have a voice that crys somewhere in their soul.

You must do something about copywrite. What I don't know, but your photos and writing need to be protected.

Then give it to us with both barrels.

Steve said...

Ah the tailgate or morality! Keep your eyes on the road, keep your thoughts pure. Easy on the brake.

ladydi said...

Oh, Owen, I do wish you could have a job that gives you joy - or at least not dread. Sometimes when someone I know is leaving for work and I say, "I hope you have a good day." the answer is, "That ship has already sailed."

Nevine said...

This is the baring of a soul. I can see inside it, can feel its hurt, especially the doubts, that girl you've never seen... all of those images and questions and tortures... I don't know why you would hesitate to post your poems, except that, as you said, poetry is very revealing of who we are, not only as individuals, but as a block of people, humanity. "Bent on getting to work/And starting yet another dreary day/In the coal mines of my existence/Behind the blue and yellow prison bars..." How many of us can relate to that? You speak for many, and we read and know we are not alone. That's all I'm saying, Owen!

Nevine

Virginia said...

Bravo for having the courage and your powerful words. I am in awe of anyone who can pour their thoughts and emotions onto a piece of paper, a gift I do not have! This poem reminds me of a book I read every year to my third graders, The One Hundred Dresses.
V

Gwen Buchanan said...

ah, Distraction... Wonder... Shock...

Owen said...

Jota, A thousand thank you's for stopping in...

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kosstinn, will keep that in mind, there are a few more where this came from still hanging in the curing cabin getting smoked... thanks for dropping in here...

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@eloh, a voice crying in the desert mostly... yeah, I've wondered about copywrite, there is the notice at the top of the page, for whatever that is worth, but if I try to find some other way to protect them, I'd probably never publish them, and time is too short. I'm secretly hoping of course that by putting a few of them out there into the potentially public eye of the blogosphere, that eventually they will be seen by an editor of a publishing house and then the phone calls will come with offers to publish... (HA !)(that's me snorting, like, yeah, right, keep dreaming Mr Toad !... the number of unpublished poets in the world has grown astronomically and geometrically in proportion to the world's literacy rate)

And when you say "both barrels", you mean like the kind of barrel in the photo in the post titled "Potpourri" just a couple down here ? Watch out for backsplash !

thanks @eloh, really appreciate everything you say, you are far from being an eloh I think...
:-D

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Steve, wasn't that in a Doors song... "Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel"?

I guess my thoughts are pure enough; just alot of sadness when observing what these poor women are driven to do on a daily basis, and there are a number of them along the road I take to work every afternoon. Many of them are victims of all sorts of violence to get them there and keep them there. When you think that they were children once, young girls growing up on farms in villages in Moldavia or the Ukraine or wherever they come from, they surely never dreamed when little what their lives would become, the horrifying repetetiveness of their gestures. I deplore what our society breeds... As a father of two girls, it disgusts me to think that through whatever pitfalls and brutality, this sort of fate awaits a certain number of youngsters who will be coming of age soon. "The horror, the horror."

Owen said...

errr, @eloh, of course I meant to say "copyright"... my mind was drifting...

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Hi LadyDi ! Thanks so much... well, it's not as bad as all that, though sure, sometimes I would like to change, totally change... but that gets harder with each passing year... we grow comfortable with certain habits... the classic trap... the mortgage to pay, the children to educate, etc...

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Thank you Nevine, your voice rings clear and true, a pleasure to read every word you write...

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Hi Virginia, Am not familiar with that book, will have to take a look, thanks for the tip... And I'll bet if you worked at it a little you could succeed in getting some thoughts down on paper... you've got the artist's eye...
:-)

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Gwen, you've got it... the only word perhaps missing after "Distraction, wonder, shock" might be... SPLATTT ! Which is what happens when the light at the end of the tunnel turns out to be the headlamp of an on-coming train...

Deborah said...

I'm glad you took a little leap and published this. There is a girl - or maybe it's different girl in rotation, I don't know - who waits just past the #39 exit from the A8 as it heads south to Aix. She stands there, in a tiredly suggestive pose, young, alone, vulnerable. The last time I passed her I wanted to stop and talk to her but of course I didn't. It's heartbreaking, but I keep my distance because what on earth could I offer her except the expectation of censure?

So well worth reading you, Owen.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Good poem. He's pretty observant for one who so studiously avoids looking!

So Belle De Jour is plying her trade over there too, eh?

You know she's a 'high class call girl' hee hee. A misnomer if ever there was one.

robert said...

Poetry - mothertongue of humankind.

You surely do know how to speak.

A wonderful Wednesday.

Gwen Buchanan said...

My Gosh! ... your writing are good!!!

Will you publish a book?

Gwen Buchanan said...

but mine's not!!!

I'll re-phrase that... Your writing is great!!!

Jessie said...

Hi Owen, you have a lovely way with words, I really enjoyed reading this poem. Thanks for stopping by my blog, fellow frog lover! ;)

MDTaz said...

I hope you won't hesitate again to publish your poetry. I didn't read it once. I read it many times.

The Sagittarian said...

Talented sod, that you are!

Owen said...

Deborah, hi, so happy to see you here, many thanks for stopping by, I really appreciated reading your exchanges with our mutual friend la Fram... And yes, it just kills me to see young women out in odd places selling their wares... and probably having been forced into it, and probably with some nasty guy keeping tabs on them. It just makes me ill to think about these people as children growing up somewhere... not knowing yet what fate would hold in store...

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Hey Laura, yes, absolutely, some phenomena are best observed by not looking at them... and "high class"... what a joke... ! And yet market economics suggest that where there is a demand, there will be a supply...

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Robert, danke schon... I am still learning how to speak, it is not an easy task . . .

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Gwen ! Whatever your writing skills, your art and drawing skills are fabulous... so not to worry...
:-)
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Hey Jessie; croak, well, it's both frogs and toads that I love... btw, where's buskitten these days, haven't seen hide nor hair of her for weeks now... miss her and Tiddles...

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MDTaz, many thanks, and welcome ! Always a pleasure to see new folks dropping in here out of the great blue blogosphere...

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Saj... twin, there you are ! Weeelll, talented might be going a bit far, but sod is certain...
;-D