Saturday, November 27, 2010

still dark morning drive

still dark morning drive

There's something about the feel
of a still dark morning drive
when the houses sleep
and the moon travels beside you
on the black and golden river.
There's something about the journey
when the yellow and sharp blue
circles and slashes of the dash
reflect like cockpit lights
in the window by your shoulder
and on your own dark face, co-pilot
in the windshield straight ahead.
There's something about the solitary lights
of some fellow morning traveler
for whom you feel a sudden warmth,
two explorers setting out before the rest.
It can be two hundred miles or twenty, no matter.
It is the feel of going somewhere,
humming through the still dark morning,
sailing on the ribbon of road,
fueled by anticipation, thinking about nothing
except your travels toward a brand new, bright new day.


  1. Loved this! The precision of the single syllables - still dark, sharp blue - the repetition line makes the mood build so well, and I love the shift of the final five lines.
    And I absolutely know that feeling.

  2. Shhh don't let too many people in on my morning pleasures. Though I don't waste thegas driving that road.

    Be Well
    Karen I loved this because I saw myself in the reflected windscreen.

  3. best time to have a poem come to mind especially if you have a recorder or notebook handy. it's always so quiet and less traffic to rush around. peaceful. hope all is well.

  4. I really like this, Karen. I love the "co-pilot" notion and the way you hit on that instant camaraderie with the other road-traveller. Excellent!


  5. Once a year we set off in the dark to catch a very early morning ferry and you've caught the feeling of driving through still sleeping villages exactly, and the moon just setting over the river. I particularly liked that line - the moon ravels beside you on the black and golden river. It's the difference between your 'golden' and the perhaps expected 'gold,' the heightening of effect through just that one syllable, that makes the reader's experience so immediate. I also like the rhyme - slashes of the dash. The whole brought me right into my annual experience of sunrise.

  6. As I think about your poem just now, it occurs to me that I feel like I'm able to go different places at night than I can during the day. Maybe because the two worlds are so different.

  7. Titus - Thank you for your careful reading and comments.

    TWM - No offense, Mark, but it would scare the bejeezus out of me if I saw your face reflected in my windscreen! ;-)

    Rachel - Sometimes the most ordinary things become poetry in my mind. Weird, huh?

    Naquillity - Yes, but scribbling and driving are not the things to do! Seriously, though, you're right. Ideas often come to me when I'm driving alone, and if I don't write down at least the initial lines, I lose them for good.

    Kat - Thank you.

    Mairi - One wonderful thing about poetry is that it shows us our common experiences. I am glad that reading this reminded you of yours. Thank you for discussing the language choices. It is always helpful to have that kind of feedback.

    jason - I would feel differently about the trip if it were undertaken at midnight or in the middle of the night. For me, it's that early, early morning when it is still dark that feels promising.

  8. Love this one Ms. Karen......
    This is the time all possibilities seem open ....

  9. There sure is a different feeling driving early in the morning. I experience that fairly seldom - although as winter progresses my morning commutes get darker & darker.

  10. I know the feeling Karen. I love the early mornings, especially if I'm driving alone.

    "fueled by anticipation, thinking about nothing
    except your travels toward a brand new, bright new day."

    These last two lines perfectly sum up that feeling.

  11. Early morning is always the time for journeys to begin (airports, boats, road trips). That "feel of going somewhere."

    And the image is lovely.

  12. I love this piece, and love to roadtrip. The co-pilot reflection bit... wonderful!

    You realy brought me back to some memorable morning drives, thank you!

  13. Linda - Nice to see you! Thanks.

    Dana - The difference for me is very real, although I can't explain why. Night drives are very different.

    Margaret - Same here. Thanks.

    Hannah - Yes, it's that beginning that feels so inviting! Welcome, and thanks.

    Scott - Welcome, and thank you!

  14. Karen
    I love how you gently whispered us in and then how the telling builds.
    i felt like i was in the car with you.

  15. My husband, a truck driver, spent his career hitting the road before daybreak. He liked those "still dark morning" hours, and every day's transformation from darkness to light gave him pleasure. When I read your poem to him, he smiled like a comrade.

    I feel grubby venturing forth in the dark and my eyelids feel like sandpaper. But the few times we've traveled before sun-up, it's been lovely watching the black segue to purple and blue. Your poem gives me an experience I've never had. Thank you.