Caveat: Poem #2824 “Another bus-riding poem”

On the bus, today, …

… I saw fields green with the young spring barley.

… I saw a man kneeling beside the tollway next to his SUV, which had a flat tire.

… I saw a banner with a Japanese flag and the words (in English): “Don’t give up, Japan.”

… I saw a motel designed to look like a Russian Orthodox Church.

… I saw a single broad patch of snow on a hillside of brown grass, near Gongju.

… I saw a shed on fire, in a field, with a great billowing cloud of white smoke.

… I heard “Aguas de março” sung by Elis Regina and Antonio Carlos Jobim, on my mp3 player.

… I saw a cow sleeping in some dirt.

… I saw a reproduction of a watercolor painting of Paris’ St.-Germain Square on the wall over a urinal at a tollway rest area.

… I heard grumpy old people with thick Jeolla accents pronouncing Yeonggwang as Yeom-gang.

… I saw a tall young man with tight jeans and shiny purple combat boots yelling into a cellphone and dropping his iced coffee onto the pavement.

… I heard Talking Heads’ “Found a Job” on my mp3 player.

… I saw brick farm houses with solar panels on their flat roofs.

… I read 50 pages of Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore.

… I saw many, many pine trees dancing under the sky, their roots sunk in the red-gold earth, looking like ink-drawings.

… I heard The Cure’s cover of David Bowie’s “Young Americans” on my mp3 player.

… I saw tiny villages packed up into narrow valleys, limned with leafless trees, where all the houses had blue tile roofs.

… I saw an angry-looking euro-dude with Miami Vice sunglasses, spitting onto the sidewalk like a Korean.

… I saw a giant statue of a squirrel.

… I ate something vaguely resembling tater-tots, with a spicy sauce.

… I saw a bridge over the tollway that had trees planted on it.

… I saw hundreds of plastic greenhouses, filled with hothouse vegetables growing, looking like large worms swimming in formation through the still wintery fields.

… I heard Juanes’ “Fijate bien” on my mp3 player.

… I saw families having picnics at the graves of their ancestors at random locations on hillsides alongside the tollway, and there were many children hopping happily, too.

… I saw a crow perched on the sign that indicated the Yeonggwang County line. I was almost home.

– a “prose poem” I wrote long ago, in March, 2011. It memorializes a bus trip from Seoul down to Yeonggwang, South Korea, where I was living at the time.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo


Back to Top