horace p sternwall


Road Poem


spiders weave, and flies escape
clowns wear noses and magicians capes
everything is what it shall be
whales laugh in the deep black sea

between the oceans the highways wait
for wanderers to take the bait
big wheels whispering in the rain
yellow moons over the shadowed plain

call them alice, samantha or flo
dames will come and dames will go
but a pal is a brother, you know
when the road calls, you got to go

down the highway and over the hills
we've got our booze, we've got our pills
past the factories, past the old mills
stoked to the gills, looking for thrills

craving adventure, desperate for love
laughed at by the gods above
angels and devils can play their tricks
we're on a one-way quest for kicks

down darkened highways smoked with dreams
when nothing is really what it seems
because every darkened window and door
hides more secrets than can ever be explored

past silent houses where dogs sleep on chairs
as cats watch over them with gracious airs
cinderella brings stepmother her evening tea
because that is the way it will always be

waves of music suddenly blast
out of the hidden fellaheen past
a shack on the prairie, window alight
solid in the windy night

bus stop annies in the shadows of the docks
clodhopper clems sit beneath the clocks
the bus from des moines is an hour late
but it will not affect their fate

silent pawn shops, all night cafes
hotels that have seen better days
bums clutching bottles in lionish paws
because the night obeys no laws

railroad bulls who once had hearts
now practice moloch's murderous arts
empty boxcars with flown away souls
can't get no more jelly roll

moctezuma and railroad bill
in a souvenir shop outside boot hill
wait for john henry's promised return
because the world will never learn

cabeza de vaca with his thumb stuck out
gives a final desperate shout
as william mckinley driving a tramways bus
leaves him behind in a cloud of dust

the final kick just out of reach
end up on a deserted beach
the ocean is the last motel room
its whispering surf the voice of doom

Submitted: Sunday, February 16, 2014
Edited: Sunday, February 16, 2014

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