Erhard Hans Josef Lang
Eclipsing Untimely Queues On Whims Of Practical Intuition
Nor briskets nor biscuits,
No greens, no grains to eat left over on the shelves
Where to feed on at home
Time again it was to go shopping for life's victuals.
Money that buys the things first was needed to get more of.
Ah, what a terribly huge crowd of clients
Inside that bank then again, and
How many hours again of life's precious time
I'd lose over waiting for my numbered deal
After I was through with this queue?
'I could have easily done my shopping in the meantime
While I'll be waiting in here -
50 numbers ahead of my own turn, '
I heard another one say, likewise caught
In the waiting's turning-mill.
And suddenly, carried on a
Whim of practical intuition,
Making true on the word just heard
I went to betake myself away, out from the bank,
On the very same thought of what my wearied by-stander had sighed.
I left, with my number tag stuck in the left hand,
Left the bank, without a note or coin for a bill to be paid,
Hied into a nearby mall's grocery station,
Where all the goodies are there for the buying,
Took the shoppers basket cart and started
Filling it with all kinds of goods, item by item
Selecting exactly what I thought I needed.
My purse empty, but
The bank's number tag all the while
Stuck In my left hand.
Bread-fruit, canned food, some tastes of
Liquid for drinks & morsels to snack on,
Sugar, salt, chillie, cheese,
Maybe something special yet for
The unexpected valued guest that might come visiting in the house...
Staples and extras in no time, thus, as it were,
Filled up the shopping basket to the brim.
And, yes, time had elapsed by then,
Since I had unqueued myself from waiting in the bank.
I placed my shoppers cart in a corner of the mall's
Where it would be out of he way of all others -
All the while with the bank's number tag still
Stuck in my left hand -
Went back to the bank, and lo, right
In time for
My turn to be served,
I signed request and receipt scrips,
Took and pocketed the given urgent argent agent
- Money -
Made it back to the trade-center
Retrieved my barrowful of houseware
Cashed in on my counter bill
And hadn't I gained, on top of all,
Paid by nothing else but a leap on a daring whim of the moment,
One and a half hours of quality time in life?
In another instance, on an
Autobahn diversion forest override,
A never-ending queue of cars and nothing but cars
was that time
That time-snatching chain of waiting in queue
I once again dared to unqueue myself of.
That queue was caused by something graver than
What any money, even how painstakingly awaited, could purchase one:
Due to a fatal series of crash-on
Accidents of several cars on the run in that stretch
Total blockage there was of all traffic
On all lanes, on that very superhighway
Where I was then gliding down in an automobile,
On a drive only for shopping for the extra rare foreign article,
There in one of cosmovillage Munich's unique railway kiosks,
Wanted just one interesting reading material,
Only there as they sold anything in
That exotic language I had learnt.
But suddenly all vehicles, small and big, slow and fast,
Ended up being diverted, through
The billowing far-stretching countrysides, from the
One Autobahn outlet before the disaster spot to the
One Autobahn entry behind the disaster spot,
Porsches and Gogomobiles alike, back to back,
Mercedeses and Unimogs teeming flank by flank with
Cow-herders from the nearest village goading home over the road
Their cattle to their night shelters,
Smiling into the faces of frustrated racing-car drivers -
Stuck in a queue of no end of cars
That were all melting up into one endlessly long metal snake
Meandering for two and half hours extra and additional,
On a stretch they would have covered, if on the Autobahn,
In a matter of minutes,
Now trapped in such a mess, up and down
Provincial hills along romantically winding hillbilly-roads
Through forested stretches,
Across farmers' meadows and fields,
And through their slow-life villages.
I was about to give it up and just
Cancel my trip, getting delayed thus,
When I had this glorious idea:
Why not simply overtake the whole long line of cars ahead of me
From inside the forest on its forest roads,
There left and right of the main street?
(Though entering forest grounds with a motorized vehicle
Required a special permit
I, a nature boy,
Was not afraid of drives into the woods) .
And so, one more driver, aside from the cow-herder
Who had smiled into the frustrated Porche chauffeur's face,
Was peeping over to that same face
And with a similar satisfaction,
This time I myself up there right in the woods,
Before turning off along my chosen dark-hidden nature's path-ways.
Eventually, after all my ways across areas of farm land,
I found myself back by the Autobahn entry
Where the accidental diversion was getting started.
The traffic police by then were still busy
Diverting more & more of on-rushing cars.
But I was the only one that came from the other direction
And I crossed the Autobahn on a bridge right there
To go from where I also was to pass back into the next possible
Coming but down all the way from the other side,
I, the only one of
All the other hundreds and hundreds of other vehicles,
Who had gone on a trip of his own,
To the other side.
And after some twenty minutes - only -, I was meeting
On the first batch of all those other car buddies helplessly diverted,
The very ones that I actually, had I stayed within the queue,
Would have been truckling yet some two hours behind of.
And hadn't I then experienced,
Paid again by nothing else but a leap on a daring whim of the moment,
Another one & a half hours or more of quality time in life?
This is a song of freedom of one
Who at regular times
Toggles along with others like all the others do, too.
Erhard Hans Josef Lang's Other Poems
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