Protesting, strain motor engines scream,
bearing torque, outside of bends
edge-fenced by cliff-hang fall
outstripping unbroken unspaced trucks in line.
Not losing face, or screen, but hooting lean,
as calling on the dashboards’ garland gods,
to slip them back in pack again
the drivers vent, exhaust their fumes.
Bravado’s wrecks raze valley floor,
reek, with jasmine hint, the strangest fuel.
Silver years on, road rites comply,
so first-time travellers adopt
hooded view, climbing Western Ghats
to Pune from Mumbai, stale breathing with
grocer’s paper bag encasing head,
custom in follow weeks suspend.
This is a reprint of work originally published in SOFTBLOW.
Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from Methodist Church ministry, has had pieces accepted by Nine Muses Poetry, Voices, Eunoia Review, Runcible Spoon, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Poetry Village, Amethyst Review, SOFTBLOW, From the Edge, Gold Dust, The Seventh Quarry & Allegro Poetry Magazine. His website: https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com.