Take a little road trip. You’re going on a vacation. Write about it. You had a favorite vacation. Write about it. You haven’t been on vacation in a LONG time. Write about it.

Or write about your dream vacation. Write about your vehicle. Write about road maps. GPS? Write about the street on which you lived. You see where we’re going? We’re on the road in one way or another. Write one more for the road!

Marie Elena’s Road:

Snippets of a Brooklyn Mission
(A daughter in crisis)

Calls in the night span nearly 600 miles
Of separation. In desperation,
We talk and pray for hours,
As schizophrenia’s power
Plots to devour her very core.

Grasped firmly in the jaws of crisis,
Dad and I turn the ignition,
On a mission only love can drive.

Finally face-to-face, we
See her palpable relief,
But this thief is unyielding,
On a mission of its own.

Her minute apartment becomes home
For a spell, as we try to slay this hell
That has claimed residence in her being.

But not all is lurid, as warm memories attest:
Love expressed as “Grandpop” meets her on the Pulaski Bridge
Each day after class, as her fragile-as-glass mind
Finds comfort in his care.

Laptop in hand, we’d snub our concerns, and
Sit on her stairs to catch our Buckeyes.
Or have a slice at Triangelo’s,
Reminiscent of Grandma’s own.

We soaked in the Brooklyn tone –
Polish bakery scents,
Market and Laundromat treks –
Nothing complex,
As we walked where we needed,
And nothing impeded our task
As we basked in the 50’s feel of it all.

Seeing through our eyes
Blew home’s breath into her setting,
Letting her fears reduce from life-threatening,
If for only precious moments.

That Fall, we followed our hearts to Brooklyn
On a mission only love can drive.



I grew up near where the metal monsters rode.
Raised on the rumble and roar,
impressed by the power and speed.
Six abreast the rails curved around the bend,
straight and narrow the metal runs
under the trellis, Northward toward Buffalo,
to the South along the lake shore toward
Erie and Cleveland. They were the major players:
New York Central, Pennsylvania, Nickel Plate,
Erie, Burlington, B&O. Saturday afternoons
spent sitting among the corn in my
grandfather’s garden, trying to guess
which rail carried the next train through.
A blast of diesel horn, and a half wave/salute
from the engineer,  and the train continued
to high ball it to its next destination.
Always my dream to ride the big
NYC 20th Century out of town.
Born too late, the dream will
always remain just that.


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  2. So many lovely poems this week and such a lively prompt. There are too many poems for me to read at one time and comment on, so I’ll have to take my time over the next few days, if no one minds the delay.

    Until then, I’ll leave you with something off the top of my head. No, not hair! A small verse, instead.

    Cold’s Grip

    When cold began its takeover,
    We’d begun a journey of months.
    December’s cold laughed at our plans,
    Sending Heaven’s waterfalls as our nemesis.
    We could not hide from Cold’s torrents,
    Or escape storms’ light shows above.

    On coastline, in desert, along the plains,
    Cold held us in it’s grip, refusing to let go.
    Watery sun peeked out to give us hope
    While gulls flocked to crumbs thrown aloft.
    Soon temps would drop, calling Cold’s name.

    Ice followed, groves hung with crop’s fruit,
    Kissing profits goodbye for another year,
    Pushing us north where we could rest,
    In family comfort and warm loving hearts.
    Cold had plans for us, plans for months.

    Blizzard’s threats moved us further west,
    Friends to protect us from Hell’s winter road,
    Snow’s burial of cities, towns,and havens
    Kept us static weeks longer than desired,
    Before need drove us west yet again.

    Five more states, three days, more friends,
    A sanctuary of peace and solace
    Wraps around us, holds us to its breast,
    Insulates us when need grows heavy
    Before releasing us to go home.

    • (LOL’d at your hair ref)
      Yes, I was worrying about the crop’s fruit just the other day… with the weather being so changeable this year…

      I Loved this: “…more friends, A sanctuary of peace and solace Wraps around us, holds us to its breast, Insulates us when need grows heavy… ” ! Oh, the lovely connection.

      • Thank you, Hen, for the kind words. This poem actually encapsulated the 5 and a half month road trip that my sis and I took last winter. I’m working on the book about that trip now.


    As streams of consciousness
    are poured into this poor state of mind
    another rude awakening begins
    and the drudgery dawns
    a new day

    At this very moment
    wishful thinking
    takes on the
    identity of a sloth
    his day job

    Yet responsibility swiftly beckons
    Steep challenges eagerly await
    my arrival

    If only life could be on pause
    Still images frame by frame
    If only time and tide could wait for this man
    Suspend earth on it’s axis
    and let me turn over
    and sleep in

  4. The trees were our friends

    On the street where I lived as a child
    Each house had a tree growing
    On the small strip of land between
    The sidewalk and the street.
    The trees were old maples with dark
    Limbs and dark bark. Their leaves
    Were dark green and in Autumn lit up
    Briefly like Roman candles, a line
    Of fireworks up and down our quiet
    Neighborhood. In winter they were
    Often coated in ice and snow.

    No snowplows ventured down those old
    Brick streets. The snow was packed
    down by the tires of the first cars to
    venture out. There was not much traffic.
    Most people rode the bus to work or
    School, or to shop downtown. Where
    Our street met the main street, St. Clair
    Avenue, there was a small grocery, a
    Tavern, Ethyl’s Beauty Salon and maybe
    A few others. Like the trees, they are gone —
    Passed into memory like the old days
    When every house had a tree in front and
    The neighbors all called each other by their
    First names.

    • Ohh… such bittersweet memories. I loved the sweetness of the maples and that the neighbors all called each other by their first names… such warmth and beauty there in your neighborhood.

  5. Wow, oh, Wow, my friends. Such good poems. This was a great prompt, that, alas, I got to late again. Sorry, but here ’tis.

    Levitation for Vacation

    No motor home, no blacktopped road,
    No bus or train or boat on waves,
    No packing, toting, load, unload,
    No budgeting or plan that saves

    A dollar here, a dollar there
    To maximize per buck, the rate,
    I seek vacations in the air
    No plane—I want to levitate.

    Perhaps this is the way my mother
    Traveled from her rocking chair;
    Eyes closed, she’s smiling at another
    Destination far from care.

    But I don’t want imagination
    Storing travels in my mind
    No, I want various vacations
    Leaving home and work behind.

    Imagine floating Poppins-like—
    No umbrella we’ll need, of course—
    Above it all, like we’re on strike
    From people-moving schemes, and worse.

    I want that roar of silence and
    The joy of momentary flight
    That lets me move over sea and land
    Just eating life to the last bite.

    Horizons beckon, shores and reefs,
    Exotic rivers, desert scapes,
    In comfy shoes or scroungy briefs,
    Or evening ware with velvet capes,

    It doesn’t matter what I wear
    If I light out with sunscreen on
    Just think a place and I am there
    And leave my worries—and my phone.

  6. Here’s my exercise in mixed metaphors… heh. Thanks for letting me share:

    Racing With Time

    I’m keelhauled by this swiftly turning world—
    It yanks me through its hours and days and years,
    Prepared or not. I’m dizzy as I’m hurled
    Around the sun, no chance to rest my fears.

    I scarcely notice where and when I’ve been;
    I’m quite unsure of what I’m racing toward.
    I yearn to process all I’ve done and seen,
    But that’s a lovely dream I can’t afford.

    There’s never time enough to stop and think.
    I seem to hurtle faster, more and more,
    Yet soon enough I’ll find I’ve reached the brink,
    And refuge on that undiscovered shore.

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