February 03, 2010

Traveling (RWP #112)

This week's poetry prompt was to use a "narrative wallpaper". The thought of walls took me to lights from cars shining on them and it was a good jumping off point...

Headlights scan dark bedroom walls,
as tires roll
and engines growl.
Those wheels will take them far away
and leave me trapped- I cannot flee.

To make escape, to run away,
I fantasize, and float above
into each cold and blinding beam.
I am absorbed and trail along
to better worlds with kinder things.

There is no fighting in these dreams,
just calm, soft smiles
and gentle arms.
A caring place of quiet warmth,
all "Happy Families" in those cars.

Returning from my reverie,
to the never-ending nightly brawl
of ignorance and selfishness,
I build a tent of my resolve,
and grow a shell around my heart.


  1. Hi Cynthia,

    Oh to get carried away in those beams. I love the last two lines particularly.

  2. Wow. The dreamscape seems almost stepford like, especially given the concluding paragraph. I think I know this because I was so adept at building tents of resolve and a tough shell around my heart... after all, Mom told me to build that shell. That wall. That disconnect.

    This is a helpful poem to me, Cynthia. Helps me to see my narrative wallpaper with a slightly different beam of light.

    Thank you.

  3. Cynthia, what an strong, iconic representation of of enduring the parents' fights! The meaning of building tents in that setting is very poignant.

  4. Happy families are by and large a product of the pollyanna apple pie school of non thought.The
    family unit is a character building exercise..you either survive it or not and then you can write poetry about it.

  5. Those headlights always freaked me out as a kid...

    I agree with Derrick, simply spectacular ending for an already-excellent piece.

  6. We seldom comment on poetic style on RWP, focussing much more on content. But it's worth mentioning that the wistful yearning of the poem is carried most effectively by its lilting iambic rhythm.

  7. The search for a perfect family never falters. I love the way you've escaped to nirvana on the beams from passing cars. Very nice!

  8. I like how the headlights introduce the poem in passing but even after they're gone still feature after being captured by the child. Very moving.

  9. Painful and beautiful. Nice job!


  10. Nice one Cynthia...thanks for sharing and thanks for your comments..and I like "sweet"...and "hate"..well I find it hard to hate...cheers

  11. Headlights on a dark room's walls is *such* an evocative image. Quite cinematic. Put me right there.

    I relished starting with a growl and ending with a brawl. Wonderful words!!

  12. I like the second stanza especially,

    I fantasize, and float above
    into each cold and blinding beam.

  13. the tent as a shell for safety is an excellent touch. well done, girl.
    happy families are all alike. or so I'm told. my parents fights were in the dawn hours.

  14. Cynthia, I like the idea of riding those beams. They go far, but where? You made me want to know.