Treasure Island

Dónall Dempsey

(15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

' ' ' ' DOWN SOME IMAGINARY ROAD(for Lynn)


My Uncle’s
old blue van

gone to seed now

growing like
some strange mechanical
vegetable

beside the chicken shed.

A cock waking up
the morning.

Soon the sizzle of a sun
like a big fried egg.

Old blue van
talks to itself.

Its blue
maddened with rust.

Its mind all
honeysuckle
& wild woodbine.

Lost its wheels
lost a screw or two too
...gone a bit crazy.

Sam the dog
squints through the shattered
windscreen

cracked as memory.

Paws upon
the steering wheel

thinking in “dog”:

“Now, how
does one start this damn thing? ”

Checks his rear view
...mirror

Nothing coming
but three trees

but they’re keeping
a safe distance.

Chicken in the backseat
with a new laid egg
(still warm)
chatting chicken
sh** as usual.

Put the fear
of God
in any dog

with squawk
turn left squawk turn right.

But Sam
don’t speak
no chicken

so it falls on
dear ears

It’s all Chinese to him
but it sure is annoying!

I, in the front
passenger seat

trying to avoid
the stinging nettles

growing up
amongst the gear stick.


Dandelions
jumping on the running board

roses trying to
hitch a lift

(to any old where outta here)

snails hanging on
on the bonnet

for dear
life

cobwebs caught
in the slip stream

screaming: “Stop...
...there’s a horse! ”

Dolly the horse
trots into view.

Whoa we
nearly hit her!

She snorts derisively
& neighs,

I put
the old jalopy

into reverse
& sting myself to bits:

“Ouch…ouch, , , oops! ”

Looks like
we stalled.

I get out
& check the engine.

Just as I thought
...ain’t no engine!

Only brambles & thorns
brambles & thorns.

I get torn to bits trying to fix it.

“Ouch... ouch...oops! ”

I get arrested
by my Auntie’s voice.

End up doing time
doing mindless chores

as the old blue van

goes on
without me

down some
imaginary road.

Submitted: Thursday, June 14, 2007
Edited: Friday, March 11, 2011

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Comments about this poem (' ' ' ' DOWN SOME IMAGINARY ROAD(for Lynn) by Dónall Dempsey )

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  • Dee Dee Wright (12/29/2007 1:09:00 PM)

    This...is such a lovely poem. I was utterly charmed and delighted in how the real and imaginary world intercut each other or blended together. The story of it is wonderfull and really evokes the child playing and inhabiting both times. The double take of times and the wonderful imagery is just astounding. I laugh out loud when the dog checks his rear and his rear view mirror...the two images living together and when you got out to check the engine and it was just as you though...no engine. And the way nature entwined around the old blue van and took it over and (see there is so many ands!) the notion of those snails going nowhere fast barely able to hold on in the imaginary slipstream! Ha...they were great. And when the imaginary car meets the real horse. I whinned with laughter. Just such great stuff. Can't do any more ands as that will just reproduce the entire poem here! Wonderful wonderful poem. Watch my lips... dee-light-full!

    love Dee Lightful! (Report) Reply

  • Scarlett Treat (12/29/2007 9:12:00 AM)

    OOOOOOHHHHH, what a lovely ride! The road that takes you anywhere, any
    time, everywhere, over hill, down dale, through the woods to wonderland....the wonderland of childhood, where anything is possible. How beautifully crafted this poem is, and with what power you recall the child within yourself. Thank you, Donall Donall for this wonderful trip....down the Imaginary Road. (Report) Reply

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