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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Two Parts of the Road

The slow lane, chock-a-block with elephant,
is grinding to a halt.
He knew the road to take, unrolled it
from his memory and lumbered willingly along.
Alas, in broad daylight, the road as he
remembered it, was sunk in darkest night.
He feels with his proboscis for a way to cross
the little one-lane motorway -
an unexpected obstacle,
something unforseen, a new
addition to the scene. The herd
parks up meanwhile. The M-way's crammed. Log-jammed
from end to end (south-bound and north-)
with hairy wood ants sounding horns
and sweeping all before them with
their headlamps on main beam.

Beside him smokes and snorts a steel-ribbed giant,
an asphalt-laying monster spreading tar
across a wide expanse of rare birds' nests.
One stands indignantly, it's flight path lost
in the confusion. Is it a Unitarian? Can
a world like ours subscribe
to such a doctrine? Or must it, like the road
forever be two parts of what seems like a whole?
A penguin in a great auk mask?
He's traumatised, has flown a dozen sorties 
up and down the motorway, 
but cannot find his lost co-ordinates - 
and creed.
Claudia this week introduces us to Borg de Nobel, a Dutch painter whose work you will find at her website here. I have used her image Two Parts of the Road as a Whole (above, one of several provided for this week's Poetics at dVerse Poets), as my prompt.


Claudia said...

oh i feel sad for the traumatised penguin who lost his co-ordinates...so many of us have..and we try to make sense of what we see on those roads...love how the elephant feels with his proboscis for the way and the hairy wood ants made me smile...love your take on the pic dave

Tabor said...

Pretty deep here. I like the painting that stimulated this and enjoyed the poem. It says so many different things in so many ways and could be re-read a dozen times with focus on a different meaning.

The Elephant's Child said...

I am tickled by the asphalt-laying monster, and feel for the bird whose flight path is lost.
Thanks Dave.

kaykuala said...

The road repairers are always a nuisance. They timed their work day when traffic is the heaviest. Even an unforgetful elephant can go bonkers or a penguin to lose its bearing. You got it very right,Dave! They don't seem to care! Wonderful write!


Leovi said...

Great urban poem, I love it.

Rachel Cotterill said...

This reminded me of the puffins on Heimay, who always go back to the same place to nest - a disaster when the volcano errupted. Very sad.

Daydreamertoo said...

This is sad for its truths. We are taking so much habitat from the creatures, they are not meant to have to cross roads nor forage for food under concrete. This is a fabulous write Dave because they are trying to cope with Man and his greed and they are losing the fight to our need to keep expanding.
Loved the references to the M 25? Or M 1 and M2 ..drive on those many times. M25 is a nightmare...lol

Brian Miller said...

wow traffic jams in the animal kingdom, who would have thought...smiles...the wood ants on the horns, ugh, cant they see there is nothing you can do sometimes....feel you though man...cause i been there...

Heaven said...

I specially like the second part, where you asked questions: Can
a world like ours subscribe
to such a doctrine? Or must it, like the road forever be two parts of what seems like a whole?

Great tale Dave ~

Carl said...

The road by its nature links two places and divides others. All "progress" is this way. Man needs to start thinking in terms of yes we can, but do we need to. Way too much of our planet is being consumed in the name of 'progress'.

Anonymous said...

A Unitarian!? A lot of fun here - confusion on the motorway - I'm not sure of the animals here - sounds like we're all somewhat lost. k.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Vivid scene. I really enjoyed it.

Chris Lawrence said...

The whole flavor of this i relished

Mary said...

Good imagery in here, Dave. The 'steel ribbed giant,' for example.

I think there are many who search for their co-ordinates and creeds. Don't know about the Unitarian though..I would say he is a pretty accepting soul.

Anonymous said...

you really nailed it for the religion thing for a USAF pilot, yeah, i call it Air Force Christianity, but it's close to Unitarian!

slowly it had to last

Cloudia said...

Whimsy trumpeted!

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

Dave King said...

Thanks Claudia. I enjoyed the challenge.

Yes, I too enjoyed the painting and the others offered for the prompt. I agree it's many different things. A bit surreal, so the rest follows, I think.

The Elephant's Child
And thanks for saying.

I like your take on this. So true to life as we know it!

Much thanks. Appreciated.

Yes, I see the connection. Sad, but well made.

Agree on all. M25 always makes me think of when I commuted between Surrey and Kent for a while. The motorway was unfinished - didn't go beyond the Kent turnoff and was almost a private road for me. Heavenly days! (Shame they built it along a fog belt, though!)

Another case of man spreading his mistakes beyond himself, perhaps...

Thanks. One day, maybe, we'll get a definitive answer to some of these questions...

Fully agree. We do so much just because we can and give little heed to the why. Thanks for.

Lost or fast getting lost, I think. Basically this was an attempt at a little surrealism. Not my m├ętier, I think, much as I might wish.

Thanks. Good to know.

Hi, welcome to the blog. Good to have your thoughts.

Yup, I didn't intend too much by the Unitarian - a play on unitary and divided, nothing more than that.

Hi, welcome and many thanks for your contribution. Like your take on it.

Indeed, let's hear it for the whimsy!