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Thursday, 28 February 2013

An Infant Non-Sequitur


It was my finest castle ever,
commanding views all round,
the moat left dry by order of
my infant client with the secret plans.

But that was then.
As I recuperate from my exertions
in the hot sun (of late October)
he is busy knocking down
and building up
and changing bits. The drawbridge
and the ramparts, for example, have become
a new kind of Spaghetti Junction --
just one part of his vast
expanding grid of motorways
that threatens the whole beach.

On the highest stretch of the spaghetti now,
a hole. Roadworks! he calls -- and from
his bag takes several toy cars. Eight in all.
With them he forms a queue before the hole.
They stretch back over the long span -- at least,
some seven of them do. The eighth one will not fit.
He tries to push it on behind the seventh car.
The first rolls off,
falls into the hole.
He replaces them, each one with care,
each to its former home
and tries again, but this time from the road works end.
The last car in the queue rolls off.
Again they are replaced.
Not to be defeated, now he moves them from
the centre of the queue, creates a space in which another car will fit. But both end cars have fallen off.

He looks at me,
The bridge is far too small! he calls
It's only big enough for seven cars...
his voice tails off.
What will you do then? I inquire.
Make it longer, dad, that's what...
He looks imploringly, but I'm asleep.

I see him measuring the bridge extension now.
He's making sure it's one car length. No less.
No more. But now, before he tries again
he takes a ninth car from his bag - and still
the queue can not be fitted to the bridge!

Dear reader, you may now return
to the first line. For your second reading, please
up any number that you meet, by one!


Written for the prompt at Poetry Jam in which Peggy invites us to think in terms of a logical non sequitur.

17 comments:

Brian Miller said...

haha...well it was a nice castle til the next gen got ahold of it....now its a freeway, getting ever wider to keep us going somewhere, but where? we have knocked down all the castles....repeat...repeat.....repeat....cool end man....

Helen said...

DAD, DAD .. wake up!! It's only a dream .. wake up!!

Laurie Kolp said...

I like the way the ending reflects a child's never-ending play... it could go on and on.

Tabor said...

Love those times in fantasy land.

anthonynorth said...

Ah, the never ending story. Enjoyed that.

hedgewitch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hedgewitch said...

Lets try with proper spelling this time:

And like a lot of logic, non-sequitured or not--it's a castle made of sand, ever adapting, never quite fitting its purposes, bound to be washed away but here, fun while it lasts. Delightful, David.

alan1704 said...

Excellent, start and carry on, i love this idea. well done

Mary said...

Ah,yes this could go on for quite a while. I enjoyed this, Dave.

A Cuban In London said...

A child reflecting on reality? :-) This is exactly how we traumatise our children. :-) I'm sure that queue materialised in real life when you left the beach that day.

Great poem. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Greetings from London.

lucychili said...

hehe sand adventures are great =)

The Elephant's Child said...

A father's work is never done. And here, I grieved a little for that work - I much prefer castles to motorways...

Claudia said...

ha..it always adds up...very cleverly done dave

Dave King said...

Brian
A metaphor there, perhaps: the next gen. knocking it down for more motorways? Wasn't in my mind to begin with. Thanks for the thought.

Helen
A day dream, my dear, a DAY dream!

Laurie
It did go on and on for quite a while!

Tabor
Ah, yes! If only...

anthonynorth
Thanks. Good to know.

hedgewitch
Yup, that about sums it up!

alan1704
Thank you very much. Appreciated.

Mary
Agreed. Yes. Quite a while!

A Cuban in London
Well, actually, no. It was October, the temperature soared, but apart from us the beach remained deserted. We had it to ourselves. Ditto the car park and the road home. We never were able to repeat the experience!

lucychili
So is sleep when the day is warm! Thanks for.

The Elephant's Child
Me too! I think he still prefers motorways, though!

Claudia
Thanks Claudia.



Peggy said...

This is actually Dani's prompt and I already feel bad for making changes in her prepared draft. Anyway I love the illogic of a child you have portrayed here! The bridge will always be too short indeed! And Dad sleeps on!

aprille said...

So sweet: takes me back to the early lego years, when I watched in fascination the superfast en/distanglement of red, bue and yellow structures.
Spagetti junction - would it translate into Beltway Tangle or do they have a word for it across the Pond?

SaraV said...

Very clever Dave! Reminded me of days of playing in the sand with my kids. Rinse, rebuild, repeat :-)