Sunday, December 12, 2010

Further Down the Road

Further Down the Road

Every trip eventually
takes me back to that one, its
eternal highway unrolling
a black and white flash through the smoky night.
Your yellow eyes shone a light down the center
as every few minutes you told me,
“Just a little further to go.”

No forgetting that road trip
in a borrowed black bus with the band in the back,
late and frantic, over the speed limit,
your hands hot on mine and the wheel
when with eyes shut or open
we saw more than we wanted. 
Always a little further to go,
a turnoff missed, a half-empty tank
always a little harder to stop,
ask directions since it was only
 a little further to go.

Through the windshield
that swollen moon rose, turned alien sun
poppy red in the smoke blackened night,
shining its sick ruby light,
hanging in the smog over Gary,
dreaming us on
a little further and gone.

Last night in my bed, the one
that became the destination,
 I saw that husk of moon again
without windshield or window, closed  my eyes
on the castle'd smokestacks shooting fire
through the restless wall.
So many trips since then
so many other hands on me and the wheel.
Yellow desert days, white nights,
mountains like songs, forests of rain,
green gardens blowing bantam sequins of life;
but that bloody moon's a bright brooding still, 
a celestial fixture that hangs itself scarlet 
in every sky. And I

just a little
further to go.

December, 2010

Posted for One Shoot Sunday at the inimitable One Stop Poetry

Based on a fragment from 1973
Image: photo by  Andreas Feininger,  1906-1999


  1. Great poem. Love the repetition and how you reach to specificity from the generality -- all road trips are really the same.

  2. An unforgettable journey, painted with memorable detail and feeling. The repetition of "Just a little further to go" works very well, along with the visuals from smoky night to passing scenery. Great work!

  3. This entire piece is like being on the road at night. And you know what? It made this old homebody miss it.

  4. wow - what a journey you took us one - i forgot to breathe when reading this - great work joy!!
    my one shoot is up as well

  5. Great poem, I could feel the road trip, right there with you. Just a little further to go...

  6. As the previous comments say, I love the repetition; it takes me "just a little further" with the speaker. Great story too.

  7. This was a beautiful read, hedgewitch. So much of the imagery leaps off the page. And the emotion evoked by "just a little further to go" is melancholy...

  8. That one unforgetable journey that lingers forever in our minds, leading to journeys unanswered.

  9. Your ability to recreate the images of these roadtrips is enviable, hedgewitch. I couldn't help but take it a step further...a little further to go on this journey of life.

  10. beautifully written!

    really enjoyed this one
    thank you

  11. A fanatstic write!
    The recurring images and words are like highway signs...familiarity kissing the unknown.
    "...Late and frantic, over the speed limit,
    Your hands hot on mine
    And the wheel
    When with eyes fully open,
    We saw more than we wanted."

  12. I enjoyed reading this lovely, full-of-color-and-images poem.

    I thought your line "So many other hands on me" was striking and you used the refrain effectively.

  13. wow, what a fantastic read. your writing is full of striking imagery and I love the repetition as well and how you've woven it into each stanza -- it works very well.

  14. Thanks all. Enjoyed your one shoots as well.As always, appreciate the feedback and glad you all could come by.

  15. love must have been driving around this country about the same time I was...from sea to a Chevy Nova...drinking TAB and listening to...Rocky Mountain High....would not have missed it for the world....bkm

  16. What a trip... I loved "husk of moon" - what a great descriptive! A very nice piece.

  17. Ah but who knows how far "a little further" may turn out to be, or what may be involved in the traveling. I have just been surfing the net and accidentally finding out what a disaster Gary, Indiana has become. From what little I understand, outsourcing and overseas competition did in the steel industry in the United States, and to me it feels as some of the life's blood has been sucked from the Rust Belt just to save the one per cent some dimes. The next generation will never believe us when we tell them that our parents used to make tangible things, and make a decent living at it, too.

    My sudden soapbox aside, this description of a stressy and uncertain night journey was well worth coming back to, for me.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

Comment Moderation Has Been Enabled