A Drive

The A34 allows me to drift off;
Be alone, seek the comatose self,
In the placeless space of car land
Where visions of people swirl,
On a haze of featureless lanes
Of tarmac, unrolling, on and on.
I seamlessly merge into nothingness,
On to another ribbon of routine
Before Winchester; Automatically
I drove on, detached once more,
From a swelling landscape,
Which could inspire one.

Not until a few miles from Petersfield
Did the road knit the landscape up;
Tying together what appeared to me,
To be the ancient folds and gashes
Of a giant duvet of mostly pale green.
Increasingly the road narrowed,
Its surface pitted, twisted and dipped,
Hanging on to, following and bridging
A shallow meandering stream.

The road now descended rapidly,
Turns tighter and tighter, inside
Jenny’s copse a necessary byway.
Shadows danced on the car in front,
As we bunched, the dashboard lit up.
The landscape no longer rapidly unrolled
But remained in my mind forever unchanged;
Field, hedgerow, field, hedgerow, field, hedgerow,
Green, brown, green, brown, green, brown,
Bisected by sky, blue, blue, blue,
Clouds, wispy white, crows, black swoops,
A gap, five bar gate, an oak tree, standing alone,
Cow, cow, cow, side on, unmoving,
Chalk Downs, Southern England: a tomb.
Light, Bright, White, Out, Open,
A round-about, straight over
To the Railway Station.
I parked and waited.

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