Ramblings on the Road




And miles to go before I sleep
at journey’s end,
if I’m able to sleep.
Oh, a moment for relief and respite,
a few hours with eyes closed.
But, whether it be for fear
or enthusiasm
of where tomorrow leads,
genuine rest eludes.

I rarely travel the concreteness
of three hundred miles
but drive five hours instead.
The measure of time better
befits soul’s yearning –
for time is the true nemesis
of our desires.

A bit of wanderlust
creeps into my monkish life
now and then,
a need to get in the Honda
and see more of the world
than I can see from Kalamazoo.
Lately, ensconced in
these four apartment walls,
the road calls.
It’s led me afar in the past:
Arizona, Texas,
South Dakota, New England.

Whether vacation
or wished-for new start
it always leads back to the beginning,
to familiar comfort,
the mattress that knows
my body’s bumps and bends.
Even then, there is no true rest
for what if home
is just one more, drawn-out stop
on the way to somewhere else?


There are always choices,
side-trips, distractions before
destination is reached.
To love or not love,
to risk or not risk,
to hide or venture out.
Decisions and indecision
fog the road ahead.
Scenic overlooks, corn palaces,
sledding on sand dunes
all tempt us off the expressway.
Destinations anticipate
something done and finished
but the only final destination is death,
maybe not even then.
Perhaps the destination
is the real distraction.


Note: The first line of this poem (italicized above) is the final line of the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost


©2023 Kenneth W. Arthur