Later, the Earth Took the Driver’s Seat

Later, the Earth Took the Driver’s Seat

They thought the world could be filled with roads
and still would be the world. They thought that paving
was the way to go, and, answering goads
of “faster”, they speed-spread tar, enslaving
every chump-change clump of grass and stalk
till even oak bowed and hemlocks drooped, dying.
The axel beds drooped too beneath their bulk
for they grew huge in their cars, ever vying
for more wiggle room, which in a world
of roads, took several miles, even with
the windows open, bunched arms unfurled–
though soon all rush of air became a myth,
a yarn passed back and forth on the sealed drive
like the tar-dust trunks, said once to be alive–

Here is some consecutive poem–27th–for the 27th day of April, National Poetry Month.  (Agh!)  I am linking it to the Real Toads – “Play it Again, Sam” challenge by Margaret Bednar, allowing participants, thankfully, to use an archived challenge–in this case, I chose a prompt for 14 liners by Kerry O’Connor. (Mine’s a sonnet.)

Margaret’s prompt included beautiful drawings by her daughter and I urge you to check them out. I tend to like to use my own visuals though–the above and below photographs are mine. (I took a bunch of this car, so you’ll probably see more at some point!)



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18 Comments on “Later, the Earth Took the Driver’s Seat”

  1. hedgewitch Says:

    Very vivid language, k. makes this really hit home–I suppose any good poem does that so I’m stating the obvious, but I do admire what you’ve done here, and my commenting style is getting pretty threadbare right now, so much so it’s either gush or speechlessness atm. This deserves a better analysis, because it has so many lines that beat like a heart at the meaning of life, the one that has become so corroded and tar-brushed that we can only wonder if it once was alive. You are doing so well with this! Only three more for you–I am still working on something for today.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. I know what you mean re commenting. I almost didn’t link this to anything as I enjoy reading but I am at a loss for words. I have actually done the April thing several times – since the beginning of my blogging life–this time has been more challenging in a way in that I’ve felt a bit tired, but somehow the whole thing has felt more like an opportunity. I’ve not enjoyed every poem–some later have felt — not slap=dash–but I could just not tell anything much about editing==maybe a good time to go back to forms! Ha!

      Yours have each been a real poem! Good luck with today.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      By saying each has been a real poem–and I’m on an infernal device so couldn’t edit the thought–each of yours has not been just a draft. But I don’t want to burden you re today–make it a draft if you like!!!!! k.

      • hedgewitch Says:

        Ha! My drafts suck! That’s why I don;t post them. ;_) And why I am still pounding my head against the wall today. I agree maybe a form would really help. Thanks for the complement, though. I am not griping–I do this every year for a reason, but this year for some reason has been more of a push for me too.

  2. What an original take on the sonnet form. While you remain true the classic form, you have lessened the hold of the 3 quatrains with your use of enjambed lines. This creates an easy frame for your subject to unfold until the couplet returns the reader to the mighty Shakespearean punch-line.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks,Kerry-enjambment is one of the reasons I’m so keen on commas–as my lines ussually run on (like my sentences.) Thanks again for all the wonderful prompts you’ve arranged this month–all so interesting and thanks too for your ever-kindness. Your own epic is quite a feat–so ambitious and meeting those ambitions. And speaking of feat–I hope yours are better. I have a lot of trouble with mine too, but have avoided treatment by and large. Hope it is working for you. k.

  3. CC Champagne Says:

    Made me think of a book by Ben Elton (can’t think of the name right now). Very nice write!

  4. There was a time when Joni Mitchell singing, “They paved paradise, put up a parking lot” sounded more cute than right on. Today it sounds like a joke gone completely sour. But the earth will be in a position to have the last laugh.

  5. Mama Zen Says:

    I really like this, K. It’s extremely vivid, and it moves beautifully.

  6. janehewey Says:

    really great cadence. a myth, a yarn– great way to close, and this poem part of it. I love chump-change clump of grass and stalk/,
    and the connection of tar from beginning to end. I’ve a memory smell of tar so strong it could inspire a myth…

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Thank you, Jane. I worry that when I get into the land of forms (especially sonnets) I let the form take over a bit. (Kind of a relief right now!) But I’m glad the tar came through. I expect yours may be beach tar. Take care, and thanks always. k.


      • janehewey Says:

        : ) the tar takes me back to hot summers in small town Iowa. We lived at the end of a tarred road. Every few years someone from the public works would come do repairs. Hot tar, and a big roller. Sometimes the tar, in small spots, wouldn’t harden until fall. In child’s play, tar can be used to ink, glue, fill etc… so we learned!!

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        Ha. Iowa can be pretty hot! k.

  7. I love that first line…The whole poem speaks of the tragedy we have inflicted on the earth..yet earth will reclaim the territory if it is allowed to. I love the photos also. I am fascinated with photographing rust.

  8. I love your opening sentence and this, ” soon all rush of air became a myth,” excellent writing and super inspiring images…nicely done!!

  9. ds Says:

    Oh. Yeah. I love the wry, wise voice of this, the punch of language (“speed-spread tar”; “chump change clump of grass and stalk”; okay, every line) & the grand irony that of course Nature will always (re)claim her own. Sonnet form works perfectly. Thank you!
    Photos are great, too. Is the car trying to escape?

  10. The visuals here on your poem are outstanding and the languages you’ve built are incredibly amazing.

    Much respect to you my friend.

    I am back! and ready to blog again. Stay tune for my upcoming poem soon. 🙂

  11. brian miller Says:

    i hope that the rush of air never becomes a myth and cant imagine a world us asphalt…how sad that would be…and all the life it would choke out…ours included…

    i am alive…smiles…thanks for checking on me…

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