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Friday, 15 December 2006

Roads of Grass

This is the fastest post I've ever written. But at least I've written a poem for Poetry Thursday - even though it's now Friday over here and so I'm officially late.

I may be back to edit and add more later.

named late

Before moving to Devon Street in town
we'd only ever lived on gravel roads
without official names
and a centre-line of May weed.

On one trip back to the old place,
a blue-and-white County Council sign
had named 'our road'
Salisbury Road. We laughed.

A whole town emptied by urban shift
now full of useless signs
with awkward street names
naming roads of grass going nowhere.



Kamsin said...

It's still Thursday where I am, so you're not late at all (sort of!). Lovely poem!

January said...

I love it poems come together quickly. Nice job. I especially like the last stanza.

SquareTraveler said...

I love the way it concludes, and it reminded me of when they started putting up signs in my tiny home town and I suddenly found myself living on First St. I don't think they ever made it to Tenth.

chiefbiscuit said...

kamsin - Thanks for letting me off the hook like the kind teacher you are!

january - Thanks. I kept thinking of the U2 song - Where the Streets have no name ...

squaretraveler - Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I'm always gratified when what I have written makes a connection, or evokes a memory.

DebR said...

Oh, I like it! Especially the end..."naming roads of grass going nowhere." That image is wonderful!

rel said...

I'm urged, by this poem, to revisit my growing up neighborhood to make the connection with my past.
Nice piece.

clare said...

An evocative tale - well told - whimsical and sad at the same time.

Natalie said...

and a centre-line of May weed. I like that!

We're out on a country road... it has a name, and it even has a street sign... but only on a corner nobody but the mailman ever drives by. And certainly not put anywhere it could actually help people trying to get to our house!

chiefbiscuit said...

deb r - Thanks Deb. Your enthusiasm is infectious this Saturday morning - I want to go right now and write some more poetry. (If only there asn't so much Xmassseee stuff to do.)

rel - I am so pleased to inspire. Go! You will be so glad you did! :)

clare - Yep I guess there is sadness

natalie - It always amazes me how alike America is to the rest of the world, and yet from American programmes and news we get over here it always seems so fast and furious! People like you help remind me that it isn't really - it has its gentle side.

Rethabile said...

"we'd only ever lived on gravel roads
without official names"

That sounds just like me, and the street where I grew up. Bravo for a very nice (though quick) poem.

chiefbiscuit said...

rethabile - Thanks - I like streets without names!

Dani said...

The first stanza reminded me of how we had a family meeting to name our road. It was a gravel road in a tiny town and we were the only house at the end of it, so the post office let us name it whatever we wanted. We ended up naming it after ourselves, of course :-).

And yes, my poem is about exposing my kids to the Beatles and rock-and-roll history in general.

chiefbiscuit said...

I am astounded at how many gravel roads have been written about in this week's Poetry Thursday prompt - there must be something about gravel!

Becky said...

Beautifully done, Chief. I could feel the laugh you described.


apprentice said...

I like the lines of mayweed, that's so true of country roads.

pepektheassassin said...

Good job! I grew up in a couple of very small towns in California--both in the middle of the desert. The first had dirt roads (no grass!)--the second's roads were barely paved, except for the main one that went right on through. Very little traffic. Once, when it snowed, we were all so excited they closed it off so we could improvise sleds etc and pretend we were ice skating....

Meander Knot Press said...

I enjoy the local detail

chiefbiscuit said...

becky - Oh yes how we laughed!

appreny=tice - Thanks for spelling 'mayweed' - I wasn't sure and didn't have time to check up. So you have it over there too? It has a distinctive smell to it too.

pepek - We'll have you speaking kiwi yet! (Good job = good on ya mate!) Thanks for your recollections - it colours in America for me.

meander knot press- Thanks MKP. Ditto with your writing!

Jon said...

Oh, I like this poem. You've nailed down a moment of, what? Poignant absurdity? Whatever it is, you've captured it wonderfully.

Have you read mike mc's poem this week? I think it's titled "West End." Your poem and his could be companion pieces--his about a road that still carries a name from a long-gone past and yours about a road that never needed a name.

Anyway, I enjoyed the poem!

Jan said...

I like the last part particularly; a very strong image indeed.And "awkward " street names...

chiefbiscuit said...

jon - Thanks. Yes I have read Mike's poem. I can see what you mean.

jan - Thanks. Yes I think 'awkward' is the right word for those very official (officious?) street names.

ecm said...

I love this roads of grass image. I grew up with a grass alley behind our house which always seemed a little magical.

chiefbiscuit said...

ecm - Thanks - yes, grass lanes and tracks are magical.


'how this all harbours light'