travelogue in the afternoon…

travelogue in the afternoon

it’s hot inside,
& the only thing
worth stabbing is a
dying cigarette
against the bottom of
a mostly empty ashtray.
i’m watching gray clouds
through the window
take on the color of
cigarette ash: mimicry
across the sky.

spread out amidst
such expansive days,
watching the world
go by in scenes of intense
frenzy with nowhere
to go & nothing
to do. i’d kill to sit
under flickering
lights in some
dingy hotel room
by the beach or
for a lungful
of beach wind;
daydreaming only
gets you so close.

“look at me” says
a memorized voice.
nothing important,
another puzzle piece
fragment already
forgotten moments later.
i’m looking towards
waves lapping cars
in the parking lot
wishing for palm
frond shadows
on sand instead of
dry asphalt capped
under low slate

by the time sounds
of thunder
rip me from
oceanic daydreams,
ashed out skies
begin to spit upon
the car park.
i abandon my window
post as rain
voyeur so i can feel
the raindrops fall. if this
is as close as i’ll
get to wave & tide,
may as well grab
for the replica. i’d
wanted waterfront
this must be it.


Listening to Joe Henry and watching the clouds build towards rain was salvation personified. (Shit, how many times can anyone say that?) It is possible to miss the ocean for the raindrops, as if density was the sole measure of success when it comes to water. Are there any Caribbean islands looking for poets? (It worked for Daniel Wilson, though not for a Caribbean island, rather for Kiribati in the South Pacific. Lucky SOB. (If you haven’t read ‘The Sex Lives of Cannibals’ or ‘Getting Stoned With Savages’ by J Maarten Troost, do yourself a favor and check them out. Both great travel stories and tremendously funny to boot. Is he as good as Bill Bryson? Just as entertaining, but hasn’t written as many books. Besides, Bryson is everywhere. ‘Notes From A Small Island’ is awesome and made me want to hike England until I remembered I was crippled. Anyhow, both are great writers and if you like snarky travelogues, you’ll dig either one. I’m going out to play in the rain, you should come too.

25 Responses to “travelogue in the afternoon…”

  1. I enjoyed reading this poem and I really enjoyed the descriptiveness of the first stanza. I want the ocean now too but I don’t think I could just settle for rain.

    • Yeah, that is about the crux of it. Without going into detail, all I can say is that sometimes as badly as you want something you just have to accept the it ain’t gonna happen. If it is raindrops instead of the ocean, then I will learn to love rain. Very glad you dug the poem, I almost didn’t post it because of the personal nature of the poem, but your compliment makes me glad that I did. Much thanks. Take it easy on the road to the beach,


  2. Flannel By Any Other Name Says:

    Wonderful writing, so descriptive in an unusual way. You do remind me of the great writers from the late 1800’s who created such wonderful wordscapes (made that up) that you could sink your teeth into.

    • Wow, that is quite the compliment. I try to give each poem room to develop while also keeping a certain amount of spontaneity in the process. Playing around with different ways of approaching a situation often helps flesh out an idea into a more fully developed poem.

      Anyhow, technical BS aside, thanks again (I doubt I qualify as ‘brilliant’ but I do love to play pretend!)

      Also,’wordscape’ is a great term. Good idea, if that shows up in a poem credit is due to you. Take it easy,


  3. A.B. Thomas Says:

    Fantastic writing, it brought me right there and thanks for the tip on two books to look into.

  4. signed .............bkm Says:

    Great write, the first stanza sets the whole mood of the piece..the ashtray, the gray skies, the wanting of somewhere, someplace…amd the hope of a success story, maybe…glad you posted it….thank you…bkm

    • Glad you liked it. Sometimes when things somehow slip out the right way and everything works toward a unified end, good things can happen. I didn’t want to leave it on such a melancholy note, hence the last stanza. Anyhow, thanks for checking out the poem. Take care,


  5. yea, sometime I feel like this. Liked your daydream take on it.

  6. You’re so right when you say sometimes our daydreams don’t turn out the way we want them to, but with luck sometimes they do. I know I daydream a lot, and often they go in a completely unwanted direction.

    You’ve really got a way with words. Loved the flow and imagery. I landed up daydreaming about an ocean after reading it. I wouldn’t mind living on a nice island myself 🙂

    • I’ve often wondered if you could train your mind to daydream but retain any form of control over it. I tend to believe that it is impossible to exert ANY control over daydreams/sleep dreams because dreaming is fundamentally an uncontrolled act minus any repercussions. Hence terror but not fear, if that makes any sense.

      Glad ya dug it, and thanks for the visit.


  7. I really enjoyed this mood piece–for some reason it had a feel of black and white forties films–maybe the cigarette color analogies and the sense of being pushed into an unwilled space by circumstance. You capture well the slightly hollow feel of nostalgia and daydreaming both with a pragmatic but light and grounded conclusion. Good writing.

  8. i agree with everyone about the first stanza..really was a puller and set the mood…great poem and thanks for linking with OSW…pete

    • Good to hear from you Pete, and always glad to link into 1SW. Y’all have introduced me to a lot of good poets. I can’t pay for that kind of help! Anyhow, hope all is well, and thanks for swinging by.


  9. i’m in for some rainplay
    fantastic write with great use of imagery – really dig it

  10. what a lovely write… such an easy read- the flow is excellent and your use of language creates such vivid imagery. Loved it!

    • Always aim to please. Imagery is fun to play around with in the sense that it effects the symbolism of the poem as well as the way you approach theme. Thanks for the compliment,


  11. You had me mesmerized–painted a word picture. Lovely. May I suggest the true end was at ‘this must be it.” ? It felt finished for me then-think the rest was telling a little too much, not showing. I do that too. let the reader daydream the rest on their own in this case…

    • Think I agree. Reading it through and stopping there preserved the feeling much more than ending with the errant stanza. Appreciate the ideas! (Constructive crit is always welcome.) Thanks for the visit, take it easy,


  12. I do this a lot.Especially when life gets too much.I daydream of another world,another self.i let the sound outside play around with my imagination.

    It was so easy to relate to your words.I can actually see each scene you described.

    Good write!

    • Glad you liked it. I always try to take common & approachable themes and the come at them from strange directions. Helps the overall aesthetics you might say. Anyhow, thanks for reading and take it easy.


  13. Beautiful and perfect words.. thanks
    I enjoyed it so much…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay

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