The Prayer of the Roads

Posted: November 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

 Big Tent Wordle prompt  http://bigtentpoetry.org/2010/11/come-one-come-all-november-26/comment-page-1/#comment-7374 for the other poems.   As this one’s a bit of a rant, I’m posting it on the Miserable Old Bat’s Blog.  If you want to read my calmer poetry, and sometimes prose, you’ll need to look at http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com

For some obscure reason, the Wordle will not reproduce here. 

The Prayer of the Roads

Oh, when will you awaken,
oh esteemed conseil municipal?
We need to be resurfaced –
or you may all be hung.
The time has passed for patience.
Nib in hand, the words flow.

Oh Mister digger man,
Oh, Mister forklift driver
Oh smoother-outer of bumps
Oh filler-in of nids de poules
Please come to our rescue
with ashpit and boiler,
clunking roller et al.
Oh guardian of supplies
come with lush tarmac
cupped in your hand.

We won’t mind the mess,
temporary lights,
Route Barrées
and Deviations.
We’ll applaud you,
laud you to the skies
if only you’ll grant us
the blessed godsend of your skills.

Twenty-one years ago, when we first bought a house in France for our retirement, we were incredibly impressed with the wonderful roads and the impeccable yearly maintenance.  This was at odds with the ridiculously small amounts demanded in local and national taxes.

Then came the crunch. Taxes went up but routine road maintenance seemed to come to a halt.   Our lovely village had suffered renewal of electricity, water supply and drainage, and each time they dug up the roads they simply threw a bit of gravel in the holes and called it repaired.  You’d think that a budget for road repair would have been foreseen from the start.  After a winter of continual frost and thaw, snow and thaw, and back to frost again, followed by a year of digging up and patching, our local road network and even the pavements (sidewalks) are in an appalling state.

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Comments
  1. Deb says:

    Oh, but I like this (yet sorry for the state of your roads).

  2. Tumblewords says:

    Reasonable request, it seems to me and one that I could ‘second’. Wonderful use of the prompt – good luck with resolution.

  3. 1sojournal says:

    Not really a rant, just a straight out truthful plea for a smoother ride. The other day when I was driving, I turned a corner and had to stop because a highway worker had what looked to be a yardstick, tip end down inside a pothole. My first thought was not,”it’s about time,” but, “I’ll bet it isn’t deep enough to warrant any fixing yet.” We truly do get a bit jaded on these “civilized” roads we are forced to travel. Nice one, Viv. Really good use of the wordle words.

    Elizabeth

  4. I love how you did this…the titles you ascribed, the realities of municipal governments, taxes and roads in disrepair. Sounds like Reno!

    http://liv2write2day.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/big-tent-poetry-the-gospel-according-to-st-john/

  5. hedgewitch says:

    A heartfelt plea, one can tell. I live in a rural area with similar problems, but I’ve seldom heard them expressed so tellingly–mostly words limited to four letters are used around here. Nicely written, nice use of the words, and really strikingly polite. 😉

  6. pamela says:

    Viv,
    Very well done with these difficult words.
    Pamela

  7. ms pie says:

    love the title, and found it more humorous than an rant! potholes big enough to fall in eh.. voodoo child

  8. nan says:

    Great poem. I liked reading the real story behind the prayer… seems like you’ve had a bumpy road.

  9. Linda Jacobs says:

    I hope you send this to the local paper to have it printed! Effective use of the words, that’s for sure!

  10. b_y says:

    smoother-outer of bumps. I could use one of those. and a filler-upper of pot holes.

  11. Dick says:

    Clever and funny. It has a taste of Bertold Brecht about it!

  12. Tilly Bud says:

    Excellent use of the wordle, Viv. If only someone would listen. It’s the same here these days.

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