2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 23

If all goes well this morning, I’ll be on the road by 5 a.m. Atlanta time. If you’re able to participate today, please help spread the word about this prompt on Facebook, Twitter, etc., so that others can join in the poeming action today.

For today’s prompt, write a travel poem. Yes, I knew I’d be on the road today, so it was a no-brainer for me to decide on what today’s prompt should cover. You can come at traveling from any angle you wish, just be safe out on the roads.

Here’s my attempt:

“South of the Ohio”

Folks look at you funny
if you ask for a pop
to drink. They think you mean
popcorn or anything
really besides soda.
Remember this when you
round the bend at the cut
in the hill. Feel it rush
upon you fast: You’re home.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

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309 thoughts on “2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 23

  1. taylor graham

    This I’m-cinched-in-tin wind,
    tickling-whim wind,
    filch-figs-in-ditch wind,
    cliff-high wind
    in dim first-light, flick-flit wild
    bird wind,
    rim-click nick-in-tire wind,
    crisp-chill birch wind,
    it’s itch, hitch-this-wind
    wind, it flirts & clings,
    flings, trips, sings, this fizz-hiss-
    whip thrill-wind, misty-
    brink wind,
    bright whirligig wind,
    kiting wind, night-lightning
    wind, winding-whining-driving
    wind, this I’m-its-kin

  2. Sibella

    I missed a post when I was playing catch-up….

    My Husband Loves “The Sheltering Sky”

    I want to go where the birds
    talk in glyphs, where the sand
    runs four hands over the black and white.
    I want to tread where
    green round leaves fall, settle like stones
    to guide me over lines.
    I want your footprints,
    hard and fresh,
    as footholds for my none-too-sensible

    Pamela Murray Winters

  3. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    by juanita lewison-snyder

    he goes where the work takes him
    i follow, days later, like an obedient dog
    with food and shelter on travois behind me,
    dreaming of fire and a full belly
    a warm place to lay our heads
    safe and private and quiet
    before the snows come.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  4. Marian O'Brien Paul


    “Gypsies. You’ll be gypsies,” said my mother-in-law
    when she heard of her son’s new job: hired to travel
    up and down the American Midwest in survey teams
    measuring the middle of our continent – going south
    in winter, north in summer from razor-back Arkansas
    to Minnesota’s thousand and one lakes to Mississippi’s
    delta land to the Red River bounding North Dakota
    and flowing north instead of draining to the gulf. I
    remember winter in a western Kansas town so small
    you could cross your forefingers to tally main streets
    where everything flew past, horizontal to the ground:
    dust and tumble-weeds, rain and snow; where nothing
    stuck but tenacious ants that marched in single file
    along the kitchen counter tops or milled on the floor
    in black mobs surrounding the baby’s bottle, fallen
    from her crib. Twice we called Nebraska our home:
    Nebraska City, a Missouri River town near orchards
    full of apples. But further west, near Seward, began
    my love affair with the Great Plains, prairie grasses
    wind-driven in vast waves under star-flooded skies.

    “Gypsies,” she’d said, the word making a nasty taste
    in her mouth. So we became: gypsies, but I loved it.

  5. alana sherman

    The Lay Of Island Life

    I’ve got a hankerin’
    To throw my anchor in
    Where the sea and the sky are bright blue
    I’ll leave all the hustle, the rat race and bustle
    It’s good riddance to Park Avenue.

    It will be so serene-a
    To be at a marina
    Where the sea and the sky are bright blue
    I’ll leave all the mess, the work and the stress
    It’s good riddance to Lexington too.

    How I love the palm trees
    the white sand and soft breeze
    that caresses the waves and the land.
    No time clocks or datebooks, I’ll live in a hut
    Gaze at my man’s butt and do whatever I please.

  6. seingraham

    Humbling Journeys

    Flying over great bodies of water
    Seen from the air, they appear
    Like art canvas in varying shades:
    Brush-stroked or pallet-knifed
    Cobalt, Prussian blue, slate,
    Pale viridian – to name a few
    I feel so insignificant
    At times like these – hours
    Of passing nothing but water

    The only things seeming as endless—
    At least thus far in my travels—
    Viewed from the air,
    Are mountain ranges
    Row on row of snow- covered
    Peaks, that from 30,000 plus feet
    Appear somewhat the same height
    It is illusory but equally humbling

    Travelling by train or car
    I get the same sensation
    Going across the prairies
    In North America or up around
    The great lakes in Canada
    While that section of road and rail
    Don’t really go on endlessly,
    But with the twists and turns
    Through the Canadian Shield
    Passing through steep canyon
    Walled tunnels and past
    Thousands of un-named
    Lakes and islands, some
    That still show on no maps,
    It seems at times unending
    And has the propensity
    To make me feel diminished

    I find myself, especially
    When flying, thinking often
    Of brave Amelia Earhart
    Flying off into the great
    Unknown – radioing
    To land that she and her
    Co-pilot were lost but
    Not that worried –
    And then, they were
    Never seen
    nor heard from, again

  7. richard-merlin atwater

    Cinderella or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Me
    By Richard-Merlin Atwater (C) 23 Nov., 2011

    Time travel for some, others to exotic places,
    Far away, down distant paths, off to the races,
    But for me, today, I travel into a fairy tale dream,
    To bring to fulfillment what others can not seem!

    They say that “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”,
    And the “Magic of Disney” is in magic wands.
    As a Baby-Boomer I remember it well:
    Cinderella and Snow White cartoon movies tell–

    Of fairy tales and “wishing on a star” dreams,
    So to tell the truth: today my heart beams,
    I finally found my “one true love”,
    Obviously sent to me straight from heaven above.

    All my life I’ve searched for a blue-eyed blonde:
    Cinderella has been my preference to make bond
    For matrimonial dance at the chandelier-ed ball,
    So I searched “far and wide” to the beckon call–

    To seal my fate as a royal Prince like Shrek!
    But what do you guess happened to me, by the heck?
    I fell in love with a black-haired girl
    With downy white skin like a dove or a pearl.

    She was the absolute “spittin’ image” of Snow White,
    So which of the Seven Dwarfs do you think I feel like tonight?
    Obviously “Happy”! I’m Grumpy no more, I feel like a Doc,
    No longer Sneezy, or Dopey, not even Bashful, more like a hawk–

    In the evening who is Sleepy for bed to be with his mate,
    Shoo away little birds, and all forest animals of late,
    The wicked old Queen as a witch, eat your own apple and drop dead!
    Get out of my story Prince Charming, go back to your castle and stand on your head;

    She belongs to me, this beauteous, Princess Snow White,
    On Valentine’s Day we are to be married and make every thing right,
    No glass case for sleeping, no Prince to come give a kiss,
    The fairy tale bridal chamber belongs to me, and so does the Miss.

    Yes, Miss Snow White will soon be my wife, sleeping with me–
    As husband and wife we shall be as Prince and Princess, happy as can be,
    She’ll give birth to seven children all in due time,
    What do you think we shall name them to follow a nursery rhyme.

    And so my travel into a fairy tale book to fulfill all my dreams aright
    Came to a final conclusion that certainly made everything bright,
    I lost Cinderella all to quick, but won Snow White fair and square,
    So now I’m a Prince, not a Pauper, a King with his Queen without a care.

    I became officialy engaged to marry MIss Julia Kolednik who looks exactly like Snow White.

    Our wedding is set for Valentine’s Day 14 February 2012. I proposed to her on 21 Nov, 2011 and she accepted.

    Our 7 children to be: ” the seven dwarfs”!!?? –hahaha

    Engagement photo available by request to my email address: rmatwater@aol.com

  8. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 23 11-23-2011

    Write a traveling poem.

    Folks say Hartsfeld’s backed up–the car traffic,
    not the planes.
    They bulked up the TSA staff,
    and the lines were moving fast,
    so 15 minutes got you through.
    But I’m smug and snug at home,
    cooking for our little foursome,
    and the farthest I’ll probably travel tomorrow
    is a little post TG trek up and down our street,
    or maybe to the movies for a family film night.

  9. zevd2001


    We’re going, and everything is there
    that we need . If by chance we’re missing
    something either we’ll learn to do without
    it, or

    find another solution. I remember when we
    travelled once. We returned home safely
    all the wiser with stuff
    we never imagined that existed . . . The first few miles

    just outside of town. Sis spent some time
    at that school, working there. See the addition,
    they were talking about it when I was there. Look at the cows,

    over there, Brother Tom, points to field over the fence, Yeah,
    Sis says, We got our fresh milk every day from that farm.
    Mom laughs, Berma Shave! I thought they took those signs
    off the road years ago. Takes you back some, doesn’t it, Dad
    says, his hands on the wheel, head looking forward, It’s not the same

    on these country roads. Used to be a small town was a small town, now
    all you see is boarded up store fronts
    empty restaurants. Makes you wanna cry, But Dad, I say, That;s
    what they call progress.

    That’s what you call progress, Son, Dad says, I’m hungry,
    Lets stop in the next town over,
    have a bite to eat. We park the car at the curb,
    walk up the sidewalk, passing a gift shop, Once, Mom says, you’d
    stop somewhere along Route 66, just anywhere, and
    things were jumpin’. This isn’t Route 66, but . . .

    It used to be a small town, Mom, Sis smiled back,
    I’m hungry. Across the street there are two open doors. One says
    Sally’s Café and the other says Community Kitchen. Dad says,
    Let’s cross the street. We walk
    into the Community Kitchen, a woman with an big orange apron
    says, Welcome to our town. How can I help you. She
    tells us to sit down. Another woman

    hands us some lemonade, It’s not much, she says,
    We’d be pleased if you joined us for dinner. Dad says,
    There’s a restaurant next door, and . . . from what I see
    I fear we might be imposing.

    Not at all, not at all, the woman says,
    The more the merrier. If you need a place to stay, there’s a vacant rental.
    It’s furnished. You can sleep over for the night, Dad says
    we were planning to go to the cabin
    for the weekend. Mom looks back towards the kitchen,
    at the tables, gets up to serve the soup. Dad shakes his head,

    Mom’s hungry again. Sis, Junior, I guess
    we’re staying here for the weekend. Get to car and . . .
    bring the fixings to the kitchen. Junior, get your laptop out, too,
    you never know if the kids might get bored, and . . .

    A man comes up to Dad, Good that you came, he says,
    We had a factory in this town
    It closed down, after that, you can see for yourself.
    The library was over there, the school was down the street, if
    we are lucky, the fire trucks come in time, but so far
    we haven’t had a fire. My two kids moved away, and
    what can I tell you, we’re holding on
    the best we can. What’s it like with you. Dad says,

    The important thing is not
    what we don’t have, but
    what we do with what
    we have. Don’t you agree.

    Yes, the man says, Happy Thanksgiving Day.

    Zev Davis

  10. leatherdykeuk

    Going Home

    The underground hisses with the rush of air
    as trains barrel though subterranean tunnels
    lined with rails and conduits, where rats scurry
    beneath the live rails and the announcer tells us
    the next train is to High Barnet.

    Leicester Square brings a press of people
    but the station at Tottenham Court Road
    is closed for renovation. We speed through,
    the electric whine of the engine eclipsed
    by the rattle of the wheels and the screech of brakes.

    Warren Street, Euston.
    I raise a smile at Mornington Crescent.
    The woman opposite has an enormous mole at the side of her lip
    but she’s reading about thermodynamics.
    The old lady on my right compliments my hat
    and I tell how how splendid she’d look in a beret
    the plum colour of her scarf.

    Camden, Kentish town (High Barnet branch) Tufnell Park
    Archway and Highgate.
    We get off here. This is where we parked the car
    for a trip around the cemetery this morning.
    It’s half-past ten and two hours or more before our bed.

    Farewell, London.
    Farewell bright lights and limelights.

  11. Judy Roney


    People up north in Tennessee
    where I was born and raised
    say I have a northern accent.
    They ask me why that’s so
    when I live further south than they.
    I say, hey?

    People here in Florida
    say I have a southern accent thick
    they strain to understand me.
    They never knew Florida
    has only two syllables. Not till
    they heard me. Well, hey!

  12. Nimue

    Its a wonder how I travel
    miles within seconds,
    staring at that solo pic
    of you, midst snow,
    smiling at me i suppose
    (did you know it then,
    you would leave this for me)
    to fill in the surroundings
    with shadows of my life
    always in a battle
    to let go of you this last time.

  13. DanielAri

    almost missed posting today!

    “Flood tide”

    Today I watched the tide overtake the sidewalk.
    Busy waters moved millions of brown vegetable streaks.
    Large grass husks, cigarette butts, a foot length of twine
    loop knotted, and much more with the efflux rolled in,
    and crossed the sidewalk. Water pulled each island under
    rippling and calmly rising, millimeter by millimeter.

    Two photographers came barefoot with jeans cuffed up
    and unapologetically shot a jogger, shoes wet and mucked,
    sweats soaked to the knees. And bikers trailing triangle
    sheets of water from their wheels, passed slow, sun spangled
    in the overflood under bright gray sky. But no rain.
    None of us will visit when the tide peaks again in wet January.

    The water wove like snakes through amphibious ground cover.
    I climbed up on the bench to see the parade reach higher,
    to watch the water take more and more of the path under,
    to be shown back samples of its accumulated litter.
    I kept checking my escape route so I wouldn’t have to splash
    back through, but remained posted on the bench until the last.

    Three years ago, I drove through the flood tide in the rain,
    got to my desk in time to hear that management was fine
    with us staying home. Then the lights went out and the servers
    began to beep in unison, there in the dark. For a few hours
    I sat by the window to read and maybe write a bit. The memory goes
    through me now like the water sucking back out again—that slowly.

  14. iainspapa

    The Duck and The Turtle

    A duck and a turtle set off on a quest
    To find out which end of the earth was the best.
    The duck flew up north, then down south, and then back
    North-south-north-south until he completely lost track.
    The turtle, meanwhile, meandered and strolled
    For a while, until the whole “quest” thing got old,
    Whereupon he decided, “Right here is the spot
    That’s the best; all the rest are the spots that are not!”
    From that day to this, turtles move most reluctant
    (Though one sometimes wonders which way his friend duck went).


  15. Gregory

    “Day: 24”

    No sight of land
    Left stranded
    Bullied by winds
    Not remembering where this journey ends
    Or where it began
    Just know the sea serpents
    Are attentive
    For the wrong move to be made
    And the crew and I
    Are slowly breaking our
    Unbreakable union
    As animosity leaks into our pack
    Water to my left
    Water to my right
    And no peace but restless waves beating away our last ounce of
    Sea air
    Even the strong willed
    So what chance do I have
    Against these
    Sea demons
    Exhausted from the
    Routines of ship
    Not sea sick
    Just sick
    Of the sea
    Drive us
    And I’ll be glad
    To sleep
    In a

  16. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Between Hither and Yon

    Since childhood, she was able to travel
    between the hither and yon
    visiting with the fairies and elves,
    later, with angels and saints.
    In her old age, she still takes the trip
    into that land across the veil,
    visiting now with the spirits of those
    who left this place, but who linger
    at the doorway of dreams.

      1. Cara Holman

        Thanks, Benjamin. The (simplified) rules are that a sevenling contains seven lines in three stanzas (3/3/1), and each of the first two stanzas must contain an element of three items/ statements/ names/ objects, etc.

  17. Nancy Posey

    Last Trip to the Store: Thanksgiving

    In the wind kicking up across the parking lot,
    the leaves looked like gingerbread men,
    running for their lives, while shoppers,
    darting in the stores for one more thing
    before closing time, pulled their jackets
    closer about them, grateful for the warmth
    just inside. Back outside in the cold sunlight,
    they moved faster toward their cars
    that would take them back home, ready
    to occupy the kitchen for hours, moving
    through the annual ritual, little changed
    in years. Maybe this year, they’ll try
    a new cranberry relish or plan a meal
    less bounteous, more sensible. But no,
    the nibbling on turkey sandwiches, eating
    spoonfuls of fruit salad right out of the bowl,
    the strategic rearrangement of leftovers,
    from table to fridge, from serving dish
    to airtight bowls, smaller and smaller,
    like nesting dolls—the aftermath seems
    to be the point of all the effort, all the fuss.

  18. Benjamin Thomas


    Ten dollars.

    Rise for work
    Subtract a dollar.

    Subtract five.

    Subtract a dollar

    Subtract two fifty

    Subtract seven dollars

    Insufficient funds.
    Please make a deposit.

  19. PSC in CT

    Sorry! Can’t keep my eyes open, and tomorrow’s another busy day, so…

    Time to Travel

    Keys at hand (hands on keys)
    poised to travel (if you please);
    busy day, sleepy head
    guess I’ll travel off to bed! 😐

  20. Bruce Niedt

    Over the River: An Update

    Over the river and through the wood,
    we motor down I-95.
    Our SUV flies, fast as it could,
    over the river and through the wood.
    Grandma’s Thanksgiving sure will be good!
    We hope to get there and back alive.
    Over the river and through the wood,
    we motor down I-95.

  21. Sara McNulty

    Montauk Memories

    Hurray, hurray, we’re Montauk bound
    to sands and ocean, perfect vacation.
    When I hear waves roar, I calm down.
    Hurray, hurray, we’re Montauk bound,
    the best place I have ever found.
    That’s why you’ll hear this incantation,
    hurray, hurray, we’re Montauk bound
    to sands and ocean, perfect vacation.

  22. justastatistic-poet

    Pass away…

    In the misty Mekon mountain,
    Chased I faraway fabled fountain,
    From Zanzibar to Xanadu,
    Chased magic waters just for you,

    Through paddy fields,
    Past native shields,
    Sleepless on my quest,
    Did I the orient scour my flower to save you without rest,

    One day the tricky treetop bird,
    Haunting song lamented me,
    Bitter broken did I listen,
    To it’s deadly melody,

    And like a poem without rhyme,
    I failed to conquer us more time,
    The reaper took you in your sleep,
    While in fearless forest did I creep,

    Now here I sit and pity me,
    By my loved ones side should I be,
    While trickle torture turned our time,
    Not being there a mindless crime,

    If time but offered me one more chance,
    Hand in hand with you I’d dance,
    With warmth I’d brush your hair each day,
    Every second would I stay,

    Regrets have I for chasing dreams,
    Not realizing what true love means,
    If only could I find a way,
    To cradle you… caress and kiss you… as you gently… cast away…

  23. justastatistic-poet


    On a bright summers day I will think of my sweet love,
    Though she be so far o’er the thundering sea,
    I’ll dance the yardarm and set more sail from above,
    And drive my ship home a brave captain I’ll be,

    On a grey autumn day I will think of my loved one,
    The gale blows so hard that she’s lifting the spray,
    But I will come home for to see my new young son,
    Come on my bright laddies let’s be under way,

    On a cruel winters day I will dream of my dear wife,
    The anchors away the lee shore it bears down,
    But the sea it be damned if I’ll give it one more life,
    No sailor on this ship is going to be drown,

    A’home we be lads in the gig now and pull ye,
    In the arms of our loved ones we give thanks and we pray,
    For soon we catch tide and away our ship will be,
    Alone on the sea sail for many a’day…

  24. Sara McNulty

    Okay Cara, I’m giving this form a whirl.

    Brooklyn to Long Island (Skeletonic verse)

    Stop and go;
    always heavy traffic flow.
    Belt & L.I. E. both blow.
    Watch out, here comes snow!
    Dead cigar smells fill the auto,
    nauseating me, to and fro.
    Afraid I will have to throw
    up; well, wouldn’t you know.
    Of course sister has to pee,
    badly so she does decree.
    Dad stays calm deliberately,
    says we’ll get there eventually.
    Visit with cousins; see their tree.
    Uncle Bill thinks I’m still three,
    wonder what new doll’s for me.
    Next year we’ll renew our plea
    to stay home and watch T.V.

    1. Cara Holman

      Love it, Sara! I think you nailed the form. That could be describing my childhood, as well. I grew up on Long Island, and we would visit relatives in Manhattan, Brooklyn, D.C., or Chicago for the holidays. I can particularly relate to dead cigar smells in the car!

  25. Kit Cooley

    This came out all of a piece, and needs work on line breaks and punctuation, but no time today.

    Time Travelers All

    We have lived from then
    ‘til now, and counted years,
    and fears, and overcome,
    and persevered, and in our minds,
    cast back a line, and hooked
    a memory, pulled it into bobbing
    boat, and still we float,
    moving forward, looking back,
    and being in the now, the prow
    on course, as yet, but sometimes
    tears upon a face will put pause,
    and time and space engulf the reason
    that we came to travel this way,
    for a season, or more, and why we go,
    and what it’s for, we will not know
    until we finally run ashore.

  26. J.lynn Sheridan

    “The path most travelled”

    See the tracks in the carpet that weave ‘round the scratched
    coffee table, the cat-clawed Lazy- boy, the Peace Lily plant from

    Aunt Ida’s funeral. See the worn tracks of gray from years of
    pacing in combat boots, phone to my ear, living room to

    hallway to bedroom and back. Ring around the Rosy, pocket
    full of posey, (child, I hear your plight and pleas.) See me pacing

    in that worry circle adding another worry groove that Service master
    or Loreal Revitalift or Botox can’t fluff or plump or fill, each step

    another prayer, another march of faith, another worn path before
    I drop my hands and voice in the final chant of ashes, ashes and

    we all fall down.

  27. madeline40

    Hi, Robert,
    It’s been a while. I don’t know why I stopped receiving your prompts via email, so I’ve been out of touch and bummed that I’ve missed the 2011 November PAD. I’ve looked all over the page on how to reinstitute my mailings but can’t find a way. Will you please help? My email address is madeline40@gmail.com.
    And if all goes well, I’ll join the PAD in April
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  28. posmic

    Grandpa’s Coming

    Today, my father travels by himself
    from Ohio, diagonally across Indiana
    (statewide home of Sunday drivers,
    he always says) to just the barest,
    easternmost tip of Illinois, on the lake.
    Chicago is not, after all, its own state,
    though it sometimes feels as if we’re
    perched alone on a rock that juts
    over the water. He is traveling
    even now, guided by GPS and the
    SUV-crossover that talks to him,
    shows him how to back up without
    hitting anything, and is, he says,
    easier for him to get in and out of
    than the red Toyota that was
    the last car my mother ever knew.
    What would she say about this
    beige behemoth that coaches him
    now that she is gone, the front seat
    filled with extra cargo? She would
    find it excessive, gross, as I suppose
    I do, too, except I am so glad to have
    a parent left, my father, bringing us
    himself for Thanksgiving, and I am
    glad he has someone to talk to
    through cornfields, a lonely drive.

  29. taylor graham


    On the car radio, ads for stocking-
    stuffers and discount turkeys. News
    of floods and fires far away and closer –
    disaster prevented, deferred, or
    a whole neighborhood sluiced or flamed
    away. What has the world – the weather –
    come to? It must be global. After every
    station-break, some new scare. Squalls
    ahead. Get your kids the latest craze
    called “Look for Blood.” We’re almost
    there, Grandma’s cozy candy-apple-cider
    sanctuary. Crossing what used to be
    a babbling brook. Running fast and high.
    What is the current saying under its
    blue-gray, icy breath? A deepening,
    insistent hum beneath static
    on the radio – the beating like a
    fatalistic drum.

  30. Dan Collins

    Wander Lust

    Maybe a loose wire or a damaged
    neural link, a chink in the chain
    of thoughts, a trick of genetics,
    an ancestral memory,
    a kinship with Odysseus,
    perhaps – I’m under some Sirens’ sway.
    A hitch-hiker’s ghost
    wants me to go, he’s a hobo
    looking for a ride, with a switch
    on his track stuck a long way back.
    My compass needs me to stray.
    I have wadded up the map
    with the coffee stain slur
    that looks like a shortcut once took.
    Then I check for the chalk-line
    etched on the tree trunk
    chewed down by beavers long ago,
    and I follow the accidental fork
    on this river the vermin have dammed.
    Right or left? I don’t know: I’m a child
    lost on purpose, on safari gone
    deliciously bad. I’m not waiting
    for anyone’s call. I hear the word “travel”
    and suddenly I think
    … Vladivostock! Trans-Siberian rail.

  31. Jane Shlensky


    The Korea trip brought me so close
    To Japan, I thought I might as well,
    And then, since I was practically there,
    I could see some of China and then go home,

    Maybe by way of Vietnam, which is just
    Next door to Cambodia and Thailand.
    A shame not to visit Angkor Wat and
    Bangkok, so close to Ha Long Bay,

    Only an inch or so on mapped waterway,
    A bus ride from Bangkok to the islands,
    And just a skip to Bali, Malaysia,
    And Singapore, a weekend upriver

    With Iban tribesmen in Borneo, gone
    From harvesting heads to growing pepper.
    I should go home, my family will worry,
    But I’m really close to Tibet, which as you know

    Is next door to India, that vast and spicy country,
    Gateway to central Asia and the Middle East,
    I could head westward home after leaving Nepal…
    I may never go home at all.

  32. Mary Mansfield

    A Little Traveling Music

    Jeff Healey holds the keys
    To my time machine.

    Every time I hear him sing “Angel Eyes,”
    I am transported back to 1989
    And piercing blue eyes
    That saw right through my hollow heart.
    Together on the hood of my Camaro,
    We spent hours plotting
    Our course through the summer stars,
    Flicking spent cigarettes into the gravel,
    Watching the shallow arc of the embers in the darkness.
    Our teenage sense of invincibility
    Made our future seem certain.
    Soon enough we learned
    That type of arrogance
    Strips away illusions,
    Leaving misery and pain in its wake
    As the final chord of our love song
    Faded into silence.

    Jeff Healey can have the keys back now,
    At least until my next trip into the past.

  33. laurie kolp

    A Matter of Perspective

    The road to heaven narrows with age
    but it’s always in the far distance

    a vanishing point on the horizon
    that like a mirage disappears
    fools us into believing
    we will never reach that point, so
    self-will drives us down rocky paths.

    The road to heaven narrows with age
    and it’s always in the near distance

    this final destination travelled
    through the years on wings of faith
    a place of peace and harmony
    forgiveness and everlasting love.

    We make a u-turn, do our best to reach it.

  34. pmwanken


    side of the road
    middle of the road
    hugging the road

    one for the road
    road to perdition
    hit the road jack

    bump in the road
    road to ruin
    end of the road

    at a crossroads
    taking the high road
    road to success

    on the road again
    long and winding road
    the road less traveled

    P. Wanken

  35. Walt Wojtanik


    The son rises in the east,
    and his eyes search the
    western skies. An inclination
    that that location offers his
    comfort and rest. The best
    of what he needs. He is
    indeed grateful; offering thanks
    to all who confess a professed
    attraction to his very being.
    Seeing the westward expanse
    dance before him, he knows
    the heart flows in the same rhythm.
    Give him time to heal
    and he’ll give you a sense of his direction.
    Go West, young man!

    **A sincere thank you to all the well wishes and kind words. I had an out-patient surgery to remove what turned out to be a mass quantity of nasal polyps. Bandaged and resting and just testing my poetic wile.
    I won’t be back to write, it’s a bit more difficult than I thought it’d be; maybe just to read when I can tonight. The reason I call this my poetic home. There’s a big family here. Thanks again. Walt.

  36. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Yes, my grown children,
    Are on their way today!
    Coming to the coast!
    For Thanksgiving,
    Fun and good humor,
    And to see their mom!
    Preparation has been standard,
    House is warm and ready,
    Food plenty,
    Rooms made up,
    For their comfort,
    Movies lined up,
    Wine chosen!
    Rain is expected,
    Firewood is handy,
    As is the apple cider.
    On Saturday,
    We head north,
    To see my big family,
    Just for a few nights,
    My dad’s health is changing,
    Making this visit,
    All the more important!

    Yet as far as we will travel,
    As long as the children are here,
    And as many people as we will visit,
    Here with me every day,
    They’re always present,
    Deep in my heart . . .

    Surrounded in love!

  37. Domino

    Maybe a Road-Trip South is in Order?

    Winter in the Southwest:
    the weather is grand
    yet we’re all too aware
    of the vast snowy land
    not too far to the north
    where so many dwell.
    But let me say this:
    the weather here’s swell
    this time of year and I
    can’t help but boast
    because while others freeze,
    we can sit here and toast
    our arms and our legs
    in the warm winter sun.
    It sounds like a lie but
    it’s true and it’s fun.
    We eat turkey outside
    on the patio here
    Family and friends
    pie and cold beer.
    So if you are weary of
    rain, sleet and snow,
    come visit Arizona
    you’re welcome, you know!

    Diana Terrill Clark

  38. Alfred Booth

    I have never wandered, though
    my destination, always precise
    has led me farther
    than a hundred seasons
    or ten thousand tomorrows
    perched at the summit
    of any dream imaginable

    my road was paved in a lofty
    foreignness that wrapped me —
    willingly I admit –
    in the silence of a book long closed
    for I sought to lose myself
    in sounds and odors contrasting
    with my childhood customs
    I desired the charms
    of this distant place
    to reinvent my spirit songs
    and let them nourish on the tides
    of my tears

    now my eyes are dry
    and time, my faithful shadow
    has hidden me so well
    that I can no longer
    find the return path to the place
    my weary bones once called home

    to lose myself


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