Thursday, April 22, 2010

Off the Cuff 20: Night Driving & Storm

APAD 20    prompt: looking back, or not

Night Driving
1. Looking Back

Side-mirrors blind
as faster drivers
approach to pass.
I swivel the mirror
then can't see
to pass another myself.
Automatic, this
rear vision/side/ and
a quick glance back
through the window
just to make sure.
It's like skating, or

this dance of heavy trucks
small sedans, taxis
vans, motorcycles,
hot hoon models
and thundering off-road
vehicles on the roads &
the Westgate Bridge.
All of us looking back
peering forward
looking back
either in defence
or attack.

2. Looking Forward

From the top of the bridge
a landscape of coloured lights
a screen of dots, some
steady, some mobile.

From here, the peak hour rush
surges, tail-lights taking
the bends; the effect
is of blood, sluggish

in places, thinning and
quickening the further
we flow along this western
artery, this jugular vein.

The beautiful swerve of us!
The vibrant dashing of cells!
The rich blood-red we are!
Going home for dinner.


Same bridge, a different journey.
An umbrella of black cloud.
A war being fought, shells
exploding, flashes of -we hope-
friendly fire, white light not quite
the protective spirit we desire.

This bridge is a long, high arch
workmen in and under it often
make it slow going. Tonight, no
nonsense: this rain means business.
Drops like arrows attack windscreens
splatter into blots, clatter against metal.

We drive half-blind in the war
of worlds turned against us, united
in our intention to get through this
to get past the enemy, to survive
the onslaught. It's only rain! Rejoice!
But the racket deafens us.

NaPoWriMo 20

1 comment:

  1. I love all these driving poems. It's such a pervasive part of contemporary life, I'm surprised there aren't more driving poems around (though hasten to acknowledge there are some).