Advice to the Traveler

Do not take the motorway

that carves England into

bathroom stops

and wrapped sandwiches

 

Have no planned destination,

a rainless week to lose yourselves,

make a right at the three horses, continue

following the stream, a picket fence

sheep grazing, cows eyeing you curious

 

Continue down a winding road, oaks, hawthorn,

wild roses to five cottages, a church,

an ice cream shop, a post office and a pub

 

Slow down for a pint, don’t let those coins

with Queen’s head confuse you, order

today’s special or fish and chips,

while you’re waiting, have a game of darts

 

At the next crossroads, spin a coin,

don’t book ahead, all roads lead to a B&B

on a hill with homemade jam, Victorian

plumbing and downy bedspreads

 

Remember when two sixpences made a shilling?

here they still do, sign the guest book, add a few

words in your own language; the motorway awaits

 

Back to London, congestion, Oxford Road,

Trafalgar Square. Queue for tickets to a show,

fall asleep on the grass, among the pigeons, thinking

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© Johnmichael Simon

2009

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