Friday, 26 November 2010

The Time It Takes To

The Time It Takes
Quick time. Slow time. Time flies – Phyllida Barlow


By the time they got to Phoenix it was late.
Quick went the movie but the talk was slow
Down empty roads with hours to navigate.

From Tucson up through Arizona state
There’s nothing you would recognize or know.
By the time they got to Phoenix it was late.

It’s like an anecdote you’ll not relate.
You watch dust fly as wind begins to blow
Down empty roads with hours to navigate.

Time flies like dust, no time to contemplate
The journey. You go where you have to go.
By the time they got to Phoenix it was late.

The things you say! The words will not run straight
So time moves on with nothing left to show
Down empty roads with hours to navigate.

Let’s cut the talk completely, wipe the slate.
They drove in silence and preferred it so.
By the time they got to Phoenix it was late
Down empty roads with hours to navigate.



5 comments:

Poet in Residence said...

Howdy George, it rattles along like a snake in a desert.

George S said...

Skirting the desert. It is partly from memory. Some eight years ago I drove from Tucson to Phoenix (Scottsdale actually, but Scottsdale is part of Phoenix), and we (myself, Anthony Thwaite, Ian Duhig and Julia Darling on a British Council tour in a big white Buick, me driving) got lost. And we were late.

The Gedle said...

I forgot how compelling I found that form. The following is not intended as comment of any sort on your poem... It's just that in reading yours a verse jumped into my head and I couldn't do the rest of my sunday finishing it. I hope it's not bad form to put it here:

Sunday

He said: For sport I'll write a vilanelle,
With verses five and quatrain at the end
And it, with style and wit, shall rhyme as well.

One Sunday morning, caught in boredom's spell
and looking, sad, at other lines he'd penned
He said: For sport I'll write a vilanelle.

A story, neatly bound in form, I'll tell
And to that form, the meaning will I bend
And it, with style and wit, shall rhyme as well.

Two lines refraining, tolling, as a bell
will call my reader always to attend
He said. For sport, I'll write a vilanelle.

It shall be tragic, magic, fay and fell
And through, a wistful wantonness shall wend
And it, style and wit shall rhyme as well.

Without a muse, the poem's just a shell,
But form still serves the poet in the end.
He said: For sport I'll write a vilanelle,
And it, with style and wit, shall rhyme as well.

George S said...

You're welcome, The Gedle. Thank you. It's a form that can turn quaint and charming so I think it pays to be a bit brutal and indirect with it.

The Gedle said...

It's a form that'll bite you if you don't keep a grip on it with both hands. It's got such a soft name, full of Ees and Elles that one imagines it should be used to make something beautiful, but the insistent returning lines lend it more easily to expressing obsession, violence, or tedium. Probably the longer it takes for a smarty pants like me to notice the form the better a poem you've written. (It took me ages by the way)
Blah! he said... and then again. I'm no expert.

I love your ending by the way