Wednesday, January 26, 2011

there yet?

long neck slate back
dinosaurs roam foam high
over roadside rhinos &
old men hustling kids for
quarters to see boxed
baby rattlers in gas
station parking lots

life looks different viewed
through rear seat windows
back when we were kids &
the world was a circus we
were driven to ring by
ring, mostly entertained
always hurrying to get there

daddy, are we...there yet?
are we there yet?
are we?


look i told you
if you ask one more time...


ooookkkkk...

but not much has changed,
our face in the rear view
mirror, slightly older, still
chasing the next big thing
only now we sit behind the
wheel, white knuckled schizo-
frantic, can't stop changing
direction, wondering when
we ever gonna get there, with
no one to ask but ourselves

too afraid to jump the arm
rest, give in and trust,
curl up in the backseat
dreaming dinosaurs roaming
high over roadside rhinos &
maybe occasionally still
asking, daddy are we...

imperfect prose

77 comments:

budh.aaah said...

Oh so beautiful..all our insecurities of the child within - who never really grew up. But I wonder do we ever really grow up. I think we are the same fabric of thoughts which gets worn with time to reflect in our looks..but the thoughts are still forever fresh..young..beautiful as ever.

'so are we there yet?'

-t- said...

longing for this in everything:

"to jump the arm
rest, give in and trust,
curl up in the backseat
dreaming dinosaurs roaming
high over roadside rhinos &
maybe occasionally still
asking, daddy are we..."

thank you for the gift of voice here. and know i am hoping you jump too and dream big dreams again :)

KB said...

I love the way kids wave at me from other cars. They find fun in the simplest things. I miss feeling that way sometimes. Now when I wave to others from my car, it's usually with my fist. Cool poem!

signed...bkm said...

Oh yes, I have memories of are we there yet and where are we going to eat...enjoy it all to soon "are we there yet" becomes but a memory...bkm

Diana Lee said...

A great perspective on something we've all experienced..well done.

Betsy said...

It's very hard to give up the drivers seat and trust! oh my.

rosaria said...

We are already there, young friend. This is all there is, one day at a time, one kiss at a time if we're lucky enough to be around a kisser. Enjoy the moment; life doesn't get any better than this.

Lori said...

So many of us are trying to get "there"...in a hurry...all trying to get where we think we are suppose to be instead of enjoying the ride and just "being" in the now...yes life looks differently when we are looking back...love your words tonight Brian.

Steve E said...

Hey, if I left God steer the car, we'd have a helluva wreck. "Daddy, what was that loud noise?"

You write so well, all I can do is find some humor...there is no way to do justice to your work with my lame assortment of accolades, Brian.

April said...

really great...feels like this is right where I am at this moment in my life. nice words.

Susan Deborah said...

Wooh! Wonderful post on time, age and life. Nothing really changes, does it? We all grow up but ask the same questions. Only the answers are slightly different and the perpectives!

Joy always,
Susan

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

The life of a child. Why did we ask, "Are we there yet?"

Colleen said...

Brilliant poem and a sad truth in a way...we are always asking "Are we there yet?", not really jumping into the moment we are in and enjoying our lives for what they are.

You are an incredible observer of human nature Brian.

Shadow said...

that child in us will never die, will it. it's mostly the angle of the view that changes, that's all...

Zuzana said...

Oh, I am sure this is inspired by your recent trip...
My father would love this as he took so many trips with us, while we the kids sat in the backseat, returning his gaze in the rear-view mirror with a grin, when he asked us to calm down and stop fighting.;) It brings back memories of the long car trips we made, as a family, me and my sister talking and playing while the world outside passed by and changed.
It was our little piece of heaven.;)
Thank you for this sentimental memory this early morning...
xoxo

Belinda said...

A coming full circle and yet not quite. And maybe we've been asking the wrong question on this adventure. Always a pleasure to read your work.

the walking man said...

Rule 1 don't worry, just drive aimlessly until you get to where you want to be.

Rule 2 don't white knuckle the wheel it distorts the polymer covering. See rule 1

ladyfi said...

Oh the childhood memories of long car journeys! I used to love them as they gave me plenty of time to enjoy my imagination.

sheila said...

So true. I thought this would end with the writer in the back seat as an elderly man, watching the world once again. :)

slommler said...

You are so right! We are still wondering when we will get there! That is the question of the ages for sure!
Are we there yet?? No yet...not yet!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Barbara said...

I loved this, Brian.
So many things change, but some remain the same over the years. Are we there yet will always be the refrain.

It's difficult to always be the driver.

Betty said...

It's all in the journey. Who was it said, 'tis better to travel than to arrive'?

TechnoBabe said...

I never had that experience as a kid so reading stories like this are more fun for me. They touch an empty place and temporarily fill it but I give it back because it still isn't mine.

Tabor said...

As John Lennon (I think) said, "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." He could have added "searching for a plan."

Goofball said...

yeah I wish I could still sing silly songs with my sister in the backseat

LauraX said...

"schizo-frantic, can't stop changing
direction, wondering when
we ever gonna get there, with
no one to ask but ourselves"

love this line but in truth...

we are there, Brian...there is here...right now, this moment.

Neva Flores said...

not much changes, does it? Excellent poem Brian.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

This one ... this one goes up on my wall! I LOVE THIS! It's so exactly where I've been over the last weeks as I have been in the presence of a new 4 year old in my life. She's made me a little reflective... A little? HA!

Jill said...

Do we ever really ARRIVE? Ever?

David N. said...

We took long roadtrips nearly every summer when I was growing up, so boy do I know what you're talking about. Love the imagery at work there.

Ramblings by Carol Nuckols said...

Are we ever gonna get there? The journey is the destination.

annell said...

Great post, so lively, full of energy, just feels right! Thanks Brian

Reggie said...

As a child, the innocence of rushing the experience...as an adult, realizing if we rush, we miss things.

Heather said...

Brian, this is a great one. "give in and trust..." i like that. makes us think, take a chance...we are behind the wheel...of our destiny. xo

Eva Gallant said...

Love this one! The question is not only are we there yet, but where are we going? Love the word schizo-frantic!

TALON said...

The rite of passage from the back seat to the driver's seat...sometimes I wish I was back in the back seat...

brendanblue said...

We never forget the view from the rear seat mirror -- it's there in the rear view mirror we graduate to ...

Magpie said...

How do you make these leaps?? Wonderful, just wonderful. I'm so ready to "jump the arm rest".

SY said...

Ok this is my new favorite Brian.

it's amazing how we never truly grow out of ourselves..
- Sy

Tara Miller said...

Aaah...life through the eyes of a child...wish it was still that easy. Trusting by giving up control of the directions we want to go is much more difficult to do....but oh so beautiful once we let go and really trust our Daddy to lead us in the right direction.

You are a beautiful writer, my love.

Lorraine said...

ok but are we there yt?love this

Bridgette said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

Courtney Walsh said...

Yep. That's pretty much me to a T. Especially white knuckled and schizofrantic. I call them meltdowns, but they happen far too often.

It's like I'm a spectator...waiting for my life to start.

Grand Pooba said...

where does all your inspiration come from???

Bev said...

oh brian, this is good...

Claudia said...

awww - i was smiling my way through your poem...and think i will climb to the back seat right now, hum a song (like i used to do when i was a child...we never needed a radio in the car..smiles) and wait and see which direction daddy is driving me..

ethelmaepotter! said...

I guess I'm the exception here.

When you've been through cancer, you just automatically begin to treasure each moment of life. So yes, I was a child who asked, "Are we there yet?" and I received the standard answer; I was an adult, and I was on that 'white knuckled schizo-frantic' route; but now, I'm just enjoying the ride.

Hope said...

oh, this is wonderful!
brought me full circle
brilliant write!
thank you

tony said...

the Eternal Dilemma.look forward or look back !

Kathy's Klothesline said...

but ..... do we ever get there? I remember hearing that question from my children. He who drove would always answer "about an hour" no matter the distance. Now I sit in the passenger seat or in the back with a grandchild's hand in mine. That is full circle!!

Liza Ursu said...

"the world was a circus we
were driven to ring by
ring"
love that, and of course
roadside rhinos!
come on!
would be great to hear you read it?

ELK said...

this was a favorite Brian .. so happy to have read it today and let it sink into my heart..

The Empress said...

I feel this way, exactly. I am 51 years old, but I still feel as if I'm inside the head of all the ages I ever was. 4 years old when my father died, to a very sad teen, to a disappointed college graduate, to the joy of a first time mother.

All of them at the same time.

This was wonderful.

kkrige said...

when we gonna get there?
we are there.

we are...

Anya said...

Amazing poem
wonderful written Brian :-)

Loni said...

Beautiful! I sure will think of this when my kids ask this everything we go out - even going to church on Sunday and it's the same distance and time each week! LOL! Thanks for sharing!

Kati patrianoceu said...

Ha... I do still fight this urge

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Lol. So cute. Thanks for sharing!

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

Dulce said...

Dinousaurs alive?
I think I already read something about this here -long ago. My child also love themm and yes... he keeps asking the very same ¡question now and again... whichever, for as long as he can and until he gets his will...

Joybird said...

"rest, give in and trust" this may be the very heart of all my battles with God.

Shewriting said...

lovely imperfect prose - no matter how old I am, I still seem to find myself thinking like a child...

Okie said...

Insightfully poignant. It's the whole "the more things change..." adage but taken on a personal level. I love it.


As a heads up, I have just awarded you the "Stylish Blogger Award" over on my blog.

Woo-hoo! :)

Pastor Sharon said...

Before seatbelts were a law, we had a car that didn't have back seats. It had a large back window. I was small enough to lay in that back window while Dad drove at night. There were always so many stars in that midnight sky.

Now, I'm the driver and sometimes I think about those starry skies and wander what it would be like to still be in that back window.

secret agent woman said...

We're never really there yet?

J said...

Love it, Brian...you are brilliant. And sneaky--the way you so subtly bring up memories tucked far away...memories that are shared so commonly. After reading this, I suddenly had a strong urgency to call my parents, feeling compassion at the weight they felt on their shoulders...the weight that is now on mine.

mama-face said...

OKAY. This is a recurring dream I have. I figure it stems from the feeling I have of my life being out of control. How'd you know?

Nessa said...

When I was younger, I always enjoyed the ride. Now, I'm too caught up in the destination.

lori said...

Favorite part is:

"only now we sit behind the
wheel, white knuckled schizo-
frantic, can't stop changing
direction, wondering when
we ever gonna get there, with
no one to ask but ourselves"

Sigh . . .

Love the way you write :)

Jim Swindle said...

It's good. I remember those trips.

Daniel said...

Love the pacing on this one. Love the kind of melancholy point of view. I can relate.

Sophia said...

"wondering when
we ever gonna get there, with
no one to ask but ourselves

too afraid to jump the arm
rest, give in and trust,
curl up in the backseat
dreaming"


....this so ripped me today....

emily wierenga said...

this... oh, this, brian, gave me chills.

daring to ask, daddy? are we there yet?

begging inwardly that he'll say yes.
not really knowing where there is, but knowing it's best because he is with us.

to dream of dinosaurs in the back seat...

brilliant.

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
The scenario that you "paint" is almost common in every car when small restless children are presence in the backseat.
Thanks, for sharing a very "vivid" scenario with your readers too.
DeeDee ;-D

Candie Bracci said...

Love it!:)

Marla said...

I hear so much in this that is familiar on so many levels.

Anonymous said...

very candid and wise.

trisha
mydomainpvt.wordpress.com

Margaret Bednar said...

Yes, the fun station wagon packed with kids, dogs and camping cargo for a 6 day round trip from Illinois to Yellowstone - the trip from hell we kids still talk about when we get together and want to give our parents a hard time. We spent a total of 6 hours, I think at Yellowstone before we had to turn around and head home!

My kids think they have it rough - text phones, portable tv's, i-tunes ... OK- maybe their brothers dirty socks.

But what wouldn't I give to relive that Yellowstone trip... and say "Dad, are we there yet?" Thanks for the memory.