Perhaps I ought to start with a definition, just to make things perfectly clear.
a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.
And now, the poem itself. It is posted to One Single Impression, for this week’s prompt rambling.
the wail of harmonica and voice
reminds my ear of a lonesome train
limping along barren rails to nowhere
and so wanderlust grips at me,
drags me by my feet into the world.
I ride the kilometres from
Waterloo to Peterborough,
Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe
and before me I see blurred lights
the tail lights that stretch from here
to infinity; each one of them chasing
the next hour, next kilometre, next pit stop.
will this longing ever end?
can I be satisfied not knowing
what town or vista lies over these hills,
where the end of this road lies?
I am limited only by the gas in my tank,
and the money in my pocket.
the dust of a thousand days
clings to my worn shoes, while
I trudge on top of this busy road.
the rhythm of life: wheels spinning,
children playing, and dogs barking.
and I, weary traveller, pass through-
a shadow on the stone, nothing more.
my broken-down car lies behind me as
I gaze at the stars in the sky,
the burnt out pixels on a dark screen.
the only peaceful thing is to look up to
tiny points of light while the frantic pace
of night whizzes all around me.
this is my blood spilled across these pages,
my mind blown like a tumbleweed
along the empty miles between
myself and this empty chased feeling.
© Bridget Noonan, 2011.
I cannot tell you how much Elliott Smith has influenced my life. And by extension my poetry. If you have struggled, he has a song that feels like he ripped it out of your mind and put beautiful and heartbreaking music to it.
If you want to feel this poem fully, listen to the Decemberists do his song Clementine. It’s from an album of songs, made as a tribute to E. S.’s music. And if you put it first on a mix CD of driving music for roving far from home, think of me when you listen to it. I’m probably on the road with you.
I was going to post a silly freestyle rap thing I wrote at work today with/for a girl I work with, but I was feeling melancholy, and definitely had itchy feet. Maybe tomorrow.
do you miss me, Miss Misery, like you say you do?
EDIT: This has also been posted to Poets United.