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DRIVING INTO THE DARK

For Annabel Honor-Lissi

 

In those stark dreams when sleep shades into waking,

dreams that haunt the light like a taste in the mouth,

or a name half-remembered, half-forgotten,

I am always travelling – this dawn

along the black tops and the turnpikes,

from the Texas Panhandle north east

to Casco Bay, Maine. Ahead is the thought

of moments, or a non-stop two day drive:

from the sun-belt’s stubborn, garish pandemic;

via the fame of Dallas, the sentient

battlefields of the civil war, the rusting

foundries of the east, to stand on the bay’s

windy shore; and contemplate an island,

where black and white war refugees lived

as one – until the prospect of profit

evicted them, and dug up their graves.

The New Meadows River and the Atlantic

swirl round the verdant ruin of Malaga.

Are lost chances ever redeemable?

But no dreams end where they should. The sun

is already setting as I cross

the Red River into Arkansas.

A storm is coming westwards from the Great Plains.

The darkness I am driving into gleams

with centuries of rain.

 

 

 

 

© Copyright David Selzer
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5 Responses
  • Mary Clark
    August 29, 2020

    Beautiful, so evocative of America, its rhythms and images, its failures and aspirations.

  • Keith Johnson
    August 30, 2020

    ‘In those stark dreams when sleep shades into waking,
    dreams that haunt the light like a taste in the mouth,
    or a name half-remembered, half-forgotten,
    I am always travelling – this dawn
    along the black tops and the turnpikes…’

    Some time back, you picked up a half-asleep hitch-hiker who has been listening intently nonetheless!

  • da-AL
    August 31, 2020

    I wish had words as lovely as your poem to describe how lovely this is!

  • Jeff Teasdale
    September 16, 2020

    ‘Driving into the Dark’…Malaga Island…Lovely poem, David. Tate Liverpool had an excellent exhibition last April by Theaster Gates called Amalgam. It was an intensely moving experience – sculpture, film, dance, music. It finished in May this year.

  • David Selzer
    September 16, 2020

    Thank you, Jeff. We saw the exhibtion. You had mentioned on Facebook. Pebbles and ripples!

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