Poem: “Driving”

Poems, Posts

I can feel sleep creeping upon me,
threatening with oblivion.
My mind fights it like an ageing despot
refusing to retire, to become irrelevant,
convinced that the world will
fall to pieces in its absence.
I lean back in the passenger’s seat
and my mind whirrs on, unchecked.

Clouds sail on an urgent wind,
in the middle space between
the human scale and the infinite.
A shadow leaps onto a wall,
and for a moment all the lines are clear.
Then it is snatched away, and there is
only the blur of concrete.

We drive until it is dark,
until the street lights wink on.
The river’s black water betrays
the fluorescent inverted world.
Ruby, sapphire strata
stretch down to the depths,
spearing away from the land.

The overhead lights stripe
the dashboard yellow, flicking along
with metronome precision.
At the sound of street rushing
past beneath my feet,
my eyes close and I doze
like a fussing baby held close
by a tired mother.

Between slow, lengthening blinks,
I peer at the scenes swinging past.
A couple weaves its way
towards the city centre,
pinky fingers linked between them.
They have the languid gait of lovers.
Seagulls are wheeling in the air,
rising like a pale cloud
behind the darkness.
A man runs a hand through his hair,
standing with feet apart at the bus stop.

Glancing to my right,
I watch the capable hands
guiding the steering wheel.
Then, just the right song
crosses the radio.
The world eases by outside,
confident in itself.
Reassured by the constant motion,
my mind gives up control, slows,
and finally drifts into oblivion.

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