The sky is clear
but in the distance clouds gather
in manifold metallic tones.
The road lies open, save the lane
where a car met a day that ruptured its way,
crushed its bonnet, its schedule;
we mouth our complaints.
Red messages warn that soon we too will be disrupted.
Slower than usual, no reason or sign,
traffic takes no heed that your wife is sick,
that someone’s possibility has been shattered,
that today’s already a write-off inside your mind.
Functional to the last, roads rule only in chance,
yet birds still fly in sequence
and atop a warehouse a naked cross stands.
Perhaps in this noise somewhere a chapel lies,
and sandaled feet might still flop-flip even on this road,
fingers beckoning, spirit pulling: Follow me.
The self-sufficiency of traffic signs tells
nothing of our insides.
Expect delays; accept delays:
the deism of the day ends here.
Keilor-bound at the wheel,
a man plucks his middle brow over the hill.
Trucks speak in whistling brakes;
cars speak in blinkers;
billboards speak in covered-up breaths
and we, doubting ourselves, tremble forth.
Across gorges and bridges, organ-pipes hum
in the silent chorale of a wasted commute.
Gold glints through gum-trees;
grace glints in mirrors.
Wake up –
white, blue and dog collar carry this same weight
and glory hangs latent over the day.
” And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?'” (Luke 24:25-26)
Slow to understand, the day turns to night.
Light dwindles, the length of days shortens;
have we time to hear His words?
Walk. The road is long, but your companion
stays as sun retreats and understanding hides.
Slow to understand, we turn:
we slow our hearts to hear.
J. S. Bach – Cantata “Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden”
…The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.
– T.S. Eliot, “Preludes”
I will be late for work:
the traffic tells me so,
and Adam's curse run deep in roads
too busy to know their name.
Beaten by roadside lies the debris
and dust of abandoned schedules: here
someone burst a tyre, there
a jerry-can was left, there some refuse
of a long-forgotten breakfast.
Why do wild flowers speak
in pitches more alive to me?
Pointed, they dance in the breeze:
small, white-purple flecks of something else,
another time, another Where.
Yet life is lived on roads,
and time is stretched in tyre-marks
to places where we'd rather be.
Wake up. Gratitude's an act of grace
and this day is thick with its potential.
Nothing's lived except when it harkens
to all that defies it,
and all that belies it.
If the day begins thus, then let it, and listen:
this is where you must now be.
Road, rain, traffic slow you down
but you are fast.
Your heart pounds to silence the road, and buds
turned inward block out growth.
What speaks is asphalt
and the music in your ears, the hum
of engines idling, the unexpected pause.
is telling another story: look, the clouds
gather round the sun to make it plain.
And other hearts pound beside you,
some with windows wound down, and some
with the delayed expectation of day…
there is movement in another place, and blinking
lights declare the way is near.
Listen: truth today sings in silent stasis
and beckons you to hear.