Roadside – a poem

Every Austin, Texas October heralds in a profusion of tall wayside Maximillian Sunflowers. When they burst into bloom I marvel at their beauty and wonder how many, speeding past in their transport, miss this wayside marvel, just as we all miss the smaller blossoms underfoot.

Do we know where we are going?
And if we knew, is it worth knowing?
Radio blaring, I yap on the phone
I never want to be alone.
Air conditioned, fast, do I see,
Beauty in the path ahead of me?

Nature waits patient to be found.
When did I last step on bare ground?
I hurry, blind, thro’ street and lane.
I miss much, ne’er to be seen again.
October’s flowers wave from the side,
I pass all by in my cocoon’d ride.

Later I look at paintings fair,
Read poems of beauty everywhere
Yet, I still travel, unseeing by,
Roadside beauty ne’er wink of eye.
At forty miles an hour I zoom,
Glancing see a wayside bloom.

Sunflowers today in brilliant show
Yellow banks align the place I go.
But, if I walked this path at all,
I’d see the delicate and small
Miracles of light and worth
Bursting joyful from the earth.

If I walked along the way,
What would nature to me say?
Would I be closer to her skirt?
Would I commune with dusty dirt?
Would this conscious act of going
Be the very thing worth knowing?

© Copyright, October, 2013, Jane Stansfeld

12 thoughts on “Roadside – a poem

  1. Rats we, in a race
    Faster and faster
    The flywheel flies
    Heaving and panting
    We arrive
    Where we start

    – See what you pricked, Jane dear – reading your poem brought this out within a minute. That, my lady, is the power of your words.

    And in reply to your poem: Did we miss anything – only if we’d ventured out – of our cocooned lives.

    Peace and blessings,
    Eric

    • Hi Eric:
      I like your little ditty. You’re right, our modern lives are often akin to a frantic rat race, which ends up where it began. I even go so far as to suggest that this thought may be worthy of one of your haikus!
      Cheerio, Jane.

  2. I think you make a very strong point about noticing beauty as we rush by. Not knowing Austin Texas I’m wondering whether your Maximillian Sunflowers are less obvious to the eye than Wordsworth’s mass of daffodils in Cumbria England.

    • Cynthia also mentioned Wordsworth. I think that the Austin sunflowers have a resemblance to Wordsworth’s daffodils. However, their stems are so long that one could not say that they are ever “fluttering and dancing in the breeze.” I think my poem also takes some inspiration from A A Milne. The beauty of the English bluebells might even surpass Wordsworth’s daffodils. The UK countryside is so very beautiful – I miss it.
      Cheerio,
      Jane.

  3. You jogged my mind to the pleasures of driving through those fields of sunflowers during my road trips around the US southwest. It’s also a cherished memory of my bus trip into Hungary during the sunflower season. Thank you for sharing this in your usual cheery style.

  4. I really like the lilt and swing of
    “Do we know where we are going?
    …if we knew is it worth knowing?”
    (pause in memory of Wordsworth)
    “Would this conscious act of going
    be the very thing worth knowing?”
    I am making it into a song and singing it about the house.
    Cheers!

    • Thank you Cynthia. Can you really set it to music? I am impressed as I have no musical ability whatsoever although I do like to sing. As always thank you for your visit, which is always a joy. Cheerio, Jane.

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