Friday, December 28, 2012

Poetics: spare change in the console cup holder

train axles on a flat bed in the ice

'why do refrigerators have lights?'
he asks, from the back seat

freezing rain & snow
on the window & the road

leading to Pappaw's house
before us with hour hands
yet to turn

'couldn't you just use a flashlight?'

'yes, but----
     today we focus on comfort
     & convenience. making life
     easier, to free time to do---

     well, what do you do?'

kids, unafraid to question anything,
everything, while we settle for
answers we fill in ourselves
    without thought
           without thought

lines on the asphalt no longer visible,
slush rumbles on the undercarriage,
& we follow the ruts left by the car
in front of us, the ditch full of those
that don't---
      no refrigerator in sight.

At dVerse Poets today, Claudia has us ruminating on change in its various forms, luckily I did not have to change a tire in the weather...ha. Doors will open at 3 pm EST, so get writing.

84 comments:

Hilary said...

Kids ask the simplest things - often at the most complicated times.

adeeyoyo said...

Aha, kids ask the strangest questions out of the blue, seemingly unrelated. But they make us think - really think, don't they. I love this one, Brian.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"lines on the asphalt no longer visible,
slush rumbles on the undercarriage,
& we follow the ruts left by the car
in front of us, the ditch full of those
that don't---
no refrigerator in sight."


Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing the image
train axles on a flat bed in the ice
Brrrrrrr...as I rub my arms!
Oh! yes, kids, unafraid to question anything, everything... and I like to think about their questions before I answer their questions... too!
deedee :)

farawayinthesunshine said...

I have to say...He's got a good point...Enjoy your Saturday Brian

Kelvin S.M. said...

...i tell you... mum didn't like her kiddos asked questions like that... she always find us annoying and naughty and funny, etc... but she had no choice but to respond...coz she knew her kiddos were genius... and wouldn't stop without gettin' an answer... hihi... your delivery's quite the perfect way... smiles...

Claudia said...

i love when kids ask questions and make us re-think things..they look at the world with fresh eyes where we have settled already and filled in our answers long ago, always following the ruts left by others in front of us..but then..sometimes not a bad thing as well to follow those that are more experienced to not land in the ditch, just we should never follow blindly...ha..i think using torches to find the food in the fridge wouldn't be a bad thing at all...smiles

Mary said...

Ha, kids so often ask questions at difficult moments, don't they? During a difficult drive is a 'perfect' time.......for a kid!

SueAnn Lommler said...

Yes there are many times when we need that refrigerator light!! Many many times!
Hugs
SueAnn

Lorraine said...

a story for all ages...Why oh Why? as always a pearl of wisdom

Valerie said...

As a point of interest, my refrigerator has no light.. should I be worried... smiles.

I like it when kids ask questions, it jogs me into using my brain to find appropriate answers.

the walking man said...

Refrigerators have lights in them because if they didn't you'd have to use a flashlight and you know how I always forget to buy batteries. ergo I am the reason there is a light in there and it's there to make your life easier than driving in this snow which should not be here because our climate os supposed to be more moderate because of the smaller el nino this year...

Dave King said...

You bring out the questioning mentality and philosophical outlook of kids and include its humour, too. Like it lots!

izzy said...

Yes kids are terrific wayward thinkers! distraction guaranteed!
I am afraid we are about to encounter a drive with snow today too. Thanks.

Grace said...

Sometimes kids ask the most difficult questions or one we don't want to answer ~ Happy to see you that are back home after your trip ~

Happy Saturday ~

Grace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laurie Kolp said...

Oh, man... I don't like driving in that kind of weather, but then again, I'm not used to it. Love the ending.

Aren't the questions that come from children's mouths priceless? Reminds me of the refrigerator joke.

ayala said...

I love the things kids think about and I love seeing the world through their eyes :) happy Saturday.

DJan said...

All you have to do is experience a fridge without a light in it to answer his question. Always thinking, though. What a cool kid! :-)

Pat Hatt said...

haha funny how they look at things
From fridges to whatever else at our wings
Not afraid to say
What comes to their mind each day

Suz said...

what a blessing for your kids to have all these memories
written as poetry
....they reveal so much of you
that they will appreciate
when they are older..much older
....all the love in you lines
wonderful Brian

Daniel said...

I once drove in a horrendous snow storm from OH to VA and never got above 40 mph. Absolutely grueling. Glad that you made it, even with the distractions (smiles).

Manicddaily said...

A lot of charming reversals here, Brian. (My refrigerator light's been off a while -too busy to somehow fix.)

But the change/change - inside/out of cold - lightless --

And I love the flashlight suggestion. k.

Manicddaily said...

A lot of charming reversals here, Brian. (My refrigerator light's been off a while -too busy to somehow fix.)

But the change/change - inside/out of cold - lightless --

And I love the flashlight suggestion. k.

Susan said...

They sure trust! This conversation could be at the kitchen table or under it, safe in the dark with a flashlight. But it is in a car in the storm,change threatening outside between the narrow rut and the ditch. I'd keep following the boys!

Barbara Shallue said...

It always amazed me the questions my kids asked, because they left me wondering why I had gone my whole life without asking the same question.

Eva Gallant said...

I love kids' curiosity; when did we lose that, I wonder.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love the inquisitive nature of kids. I feel that the brightest minds on earth are people who never lose that childlike inquisitiveness.

The Retired One said...

Love love this Brian....I revel now at what my grandson says (he is 2 1/2 and I am happy to say that he lives across the street from us now with him mom and dad, can you say HAPPY GRANDMA??)...I need to start writing down some of his expressions and questions...priceless..be careful on those roads with your precious family! Prayers and love to all of you for 2013!

poemsofhateandhope.com said...

amazing how when we change from children to adults, we seem to lose that sense of challenge, the ability to question, maybe its because as adults we become more self aware...but this poem made me think, that if im ever lucky enough to have children....i want them to STAY children for as long as possible - stu mcp

FrankandMary said...

I've sometimes wondered if closets didn't have lights..just pull out 2 things, & there you go. Gotta wear them. It would make for some interesting combos & conversations.

Poet Laundry said...

Kids do say (and ask) the darndest things at the darndest times. Happy New Year :)

hedgewitch said...

What to do with all the time we save not having to use a flashlight, or for that matter, bake our bread and chop ice for the ice house. I can't say I mind reading, writing and playing instead. Esp. liked the ruts line--sometimes there's a reason.

^.^ said...

I have used my snow brush (while driving in white out conditions) ... open side window and all)... glad to be alive, yet.
Be well, drive safe, and Happy New Year, B ... always my #1 of the 8 :) Love, cat.

ND Mitchell said...

Was chatting with my high school class about this a few weeks back. We were talking about how different life would have been in the stone age. Makes you thankful for all that's gone before us.

ordinarylifelessordinary said...

A lovely snap shot from your family album. Nice write Brian, loved the slush under the car and the decision to stay on track.

jane hewey said...

wonderful. I especially enjoy your closure with the lines on the asphalt disappearing. the flashlight/fridge light comparison is a brilliant (hA) indication of change for the better, I think. Happy New Year, Brian.

Tara Miller said...

Kids certainly aren't afraid to ask questions nor push the envelope. They're innocence allows them to be free of the fear of change or the tough answers to some of the things they ask.

Gloria said...

I love kids question they dont afraid to ask any:)
the other day I feel embarrasing when I said something and my mom said please dont day that; I feel like again I have 6 years omy! the moms are alwsys Moms:)

Gloria said...

Brian your kids are cute:)

my heart's love songs said...

glad you made the trip safely! so often kids seem to ask questions we'd prefer not to answer while we're driving. {smile}

have a lovely weekend, Brian!

Betsy Brock said...

my new dryer has a light inside...which is new for me. Do I need it? Well, I never knew I did until now. ha.

We got 4 inches more over night and a lot more to come this evening! Love it!

Leovi said...

A poem really starteling.

vivinfrance said...

Brrr! It's the kids' everlasting challenging questions that keep us awake on long car journeys, so we have to be grateful!

Anders Woje Ellingsen said...

You obviously have some terrific kids! Sometimes I wish I had myself. Your writing encouraged me to write a vacsy :-) :

NUMBER 55

The children ask
devoid of task.
And so they grow.
By God, you know.

Bodhirose said...

It's been a lot of years since I drove through such slushy conditions. Was he thinking of refrigerators because it was like one outside? I wonder... I love how childrens' questions lead us to question our own versions of life.

Luke Prater said...

Love your kids! Your depict them with such warmth (in cold conditions...)

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Another slice of life well told, Brian. Are we there yet???

Dick said...

A sharp take on the clear vision of kids in a complicated world, Brian.

Gretchen Leary said...

I like the flow of your words here. You definitely turned an interesting story into a work of art and it really makes you think.

Delaina said...

Brian I love the way you interweave the tangible in the intangible in this one.

Cheers,
Delaina

afterhisimage said...

nothing like the haunting image of a rag wrapped stick dripping grease and throwing smoke in a stainless steel kitchen to see the bowels of comfort in a refrigerator...wink

pandamoniumcat said...

Well I don't know, but that is one of life's all important questions... ha ha... but I really don't know how you drive in ice...rain is bad enough...glad you keep it together pondering these questions. :)

afterhisimage said...

got to love those questions..all too often the conveniences bring the leisure to lives that are all too empty anyways..

RMP said...

ahh...another insightful question from the backseat. the flashlight is never handy when you really need it and if you're smart enough to leave it in the fridge so it always handy, well isn't that just as obvious to put a light in the fridge—'cause really are you going to be able to see the flashlight in the fridge without a flashlight?

Heather Sawaya said...

Love the symbolism in this. How we are often going through life in auto-pilot, following safely along. The risk involved in not following the same route as everyone else. At least, that is what I got from it, I hope I'm not totally off my rocker, lol. Brilliant how you paralled the child's questioning with the tire tracks. Absolutely love this one.

Behind the Smile said...

Made me smile, the questions of a child. Always asked in the times we are busy or trying to concentrate or just out the blue with no connection sometimes to what we are doing or where we are. Mind you I think the cold, slush, snow related to the refrigerator. Have a lovely New Year, I hope 2013 is filled with blessings and joy for you and the family. Smiles.

kaykuala said...

Kids can get one off-guard. Most often a second question follows. But it's good as it shows alertness. Nicely Brian!

Hank

Wolfsrosebud said...

and a little child with lead them

Nara Malone said...

Gotta love the way the questions make us all think, seeing through the murk and ideas frozen in time, finding new thought trails to better ideas and lovely poems.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I'm a believer in questioning.

poeticlicensee said...

A click on the "Like" button for
"spare change in the console cup holder"...

lori mcclure said...

Love that you're raising kids who think critically without squashing it out of them. It's quite a trip watching your children grow up. Happy holidays to you :)

Raven said...

One can sense the wonderful innocence of your kids, you hunched up at the wheel driving carefully due to the weather. Happy New Year to you and your family, may it be richly blessed.

Elsie The Writer said...

Out of the mouth of babes - they always get me thinking and mine are much older. I can't fib my way through anymore!

kkkkaty said...

oh that brings back memories...nice job with the prompt..lOVE the title..

Pauline said...

Ah but there's always a refrigerator somewhere ahead, with its light on, waiting for you. Love the feel of this one.

Karen said...

You've made a really nice connection here between the ruts in our minds and those paths we travel. You had us right there in the car with you. I can almost feel the ice on my undercarriage. Thank God for children, huh?

anotherwanderingsoul said...

this is very sweet, Brian. gotta love kids and how their minds work... very cool last line - thanks for the smile!

Sabio Lantz said...

Both you and Manic did trains -- interesting New Years image.

Our fridge just broke -- fortunately we have snow outside and several coolers.

So we need a flashlight at night --- the bungy cords on the coolers frustrates the coons -- as do the flashlights.

My brother and I argued about driving in the snow.
He feels that even though the freeway's left lane has the least snow, it should still be for only the fast car (his), and the other guys should stay to the left.

Ah, "wile we settle for answers we fill in ourselves without thought ..."

aka_andrea said...

absolkids, unafraid to question anything,
everything, while we settle for
answers we fill in ourselves
without thought
without thoughtutely love this:

aka_andrea said...

sorry that didn't go right...
Love this!

kids, unafraid to question anything,
everything, while we settle for
answers we fill in ourselves
without thought
without thought

Polly said...

You have such great conversations on the road ~ I remember them so well :)

Gail said...

I write down things my grandsons say, they often are far wiser than I...and much funnier.

Goofball said...

friends of ours had an partial electricity outage lately and they discovered the fridge was still on


"oh we can leave the door open, then we have light" :p

Victoria said...

Clever juxtaposition of the son's questions, the driving hazards...love how you are able to achieve stream-of-consciousness writing and how you draw the reader in.

Laurie said...

out of the mouths of babe's,Happy New Year!

Annmarie Pipa said...

I have a standard response to kids questions...
"i don't know." works everytime...

Alice Audrey said...

I never really thought of changing a car tire as a traumatic experience, but when I look back through my memory, each time it happened stands vividly in my mind.

mywordwall said...

Children do ask the seemingly innocuous things at the most inconvenient time.

You provided a very nice and oh-so-real picture of your family trip. :-)

Happy new year.

Nilanjana Bose said...

that back seat generates the most insightful questions! happy new year to you and yours!

mrs mediocrity said...

all the little things we take for granted... and mother nature just loves to bring us back to the moment, reminding us who's really in charge. love the flashlight. :)

Sue said...

I hate driving in bad weather...and pithy questions just sweeten the pot.

;)

William Manson said...

well I believe kids should know things, that was our generational problem we grew up guessing lol, great post pal..

mindlovemisery said...

The last line made me laugh. I have a 5 year old and before she was born I had all these questions answered, questions I was sure she would ask. She asks questions that are beyond any I could imagine sometimes in simplicity, sometimes in complexity and always at the strangest moments. I feel like I am always talking to her with a mouth full of incoherency