Monday, April 4, 2011

Rainy Day Trip

Rainy Day Trip

I’m on a journey in the rain
where destinations are
scarce as kind words in hell, with
too many out of state dreams.
Lovers and others get lost in the dark,
tarry and black as truckstop coffee.
Not far enough
behind me comes a dog, 
a hound of the basketcases,
so I don’t travel at night
any more.

In the day my car is the knife
I take to the buttery sunlight
But it softens and runs
streaky yellow and then liquid away
down the ditch at the side of the road
buttercup yellow with new flowers.
Jewel spots dancing
like glare become
blindspots of grease in the  rain
on my windshield.

While I drive I wonder
things, like
“would coffee taste as good without a smell?”
“is this hard wind a politician,
pushing air for a job?”
“does time fly because it's a lost balloon,
or a deer before the wolfpack?”

The answers are
scarce as jokes from an undertaker,
on a machine gun.

April 2011

Posted for Magpie Tales # 60

Uncredited photo provided by Magpie Tales removed


  1. As many similes as smiles on a Hedgewitch who knows all too well it's just too damn fun asking all the questions that don't have an answer. Shouldn't, at least.- Brendan

  2. That's scarce indeed! Love the hound of the basketcases, though I would swear I've heard it before, someplace. ;-)

    The middle section reminds me of a song by the Crash Test Dummies, that goes:

    when I kneel before your bounty,

    sometimes I suffer from distractions, like

    why does God allow things like tornadoes

    and train wrecks?

  3. I should have known someone had already done that! Just my luck.

    There's really a group called the Crash Test Dummies????

    I am sooo older than dirt...

  4. Loved the images (ruffles on a machine gun!) and one of my favorite lines really sets the tone- "scarce as kind words in hell". Those questions were beautifully original - (esp -the wind/politican)

  5. Wow, Hedge, this is sublime! A few times I caught my breath:
    love the "hound of the basketcases" especially, also "my car is the knife that I take to the buttery sunlight" - amazing line!!!! -"Jewel spots dancing" and all the wonderings. Simply the best!!!!!!!!

  6. Those kind words and hell really do set the tone, but this *really* takes off with the second stanza. Love that sunlight butter blossom bit. Travel easy!

  7. I have to say you had me at 'hound of the basketcases.' Loooooove it.

  8. Well, this was cornucopia of vivid similes. Read this several times just for the pure enjoyment. Vb

  9. This poem is a trip, indeed. I love the gritty, noir-ish tone of the opening. I can just hear the narration somehow. And then things heat up with that butter and knife, goin' all whack, and you're relentless with those images in the 2nd stanza. But of course, the real stuff of the poem is the questions without answers, reminding me of jokes without punchlines. I'm totally diggin' on this piece--clever and imaginative. Nice job!

  10. I love the imagery in this poem. Wonderfully done!

  11. buttery sunshine - very nice

    There is something satisfying (takes me back to childhood I think) about car journeys in the rain - the feeling of being cocooned in dry warmth and watching the world go by.

  12. Some days you've got to slice the sunlight but there are nights where the chase is the thing.

  13. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
    The character's name of the smart chick that liked him?
    Thalia Meninger.

    BTW...Coffee would be just MUD without the aroma

  14. "A hound of the basketcases"!! Good punning..
    So much great imagination on your part!

  15. I like the way you blend black and tarry as truck stop coffee- and then-buttery yellow! Questions are great when we're traveling! Thanks

  16. Your words are magic!

  17. Oh boy I've been living with out of state dreams of late. You words are very swift and night always brings out the hounds. Great job, very well done. Uniquely your own but with the Crash Test Dummie vibe, I love it!

  18. Out of state truck stop coffee speaks volumes. Dark and vivid piece.

  19. There are so many good lines in your Magpie! Black as truckstop coffee is priceless ...

  20. Clever mix of the real-life hardness and edgy whimsy. Excellent, memorable.

  21. Forgot to mention how much I loved the imagery - just. . . wow-worthy. =)

  22. Who DOES travel at night, when nothing good happens after dark, anyway? Or, at least, that's what my mama always told me.

  23. Wow! Excellent descriptive journey!

    Anna :o]

  24. Some great images here. I like particularly the knife through the buttery sunlight.

  25. Took a nice journey through your imagery - thanks!

  26. Dear Hedgewitch:
    Love the ambiguous yet direct dream imagery...coffe at the all-nighter and the dripping sunny-yellow are memorable visions!

  27. Nice writing Joy....the ruffles on the machine gun...that is a fantastic metaphor...takes me straight to the streets of Chicago...and coffee without smell...hope I never have to find that one our personally....p.s. thanks for all your husband recieved a good prognosis this morning and we are both many good people with good hearts out there...thank you for yours....bkm

  28. What a buffet of metaphors and imagery...very well done...


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