POET'S CORNER by Jeff Hartzer
#018: November, 2005

[This edition is particularly written for our local Albuquerque area; however, traffic jams and chaos do exist internationally!]

Five Hundred Days
(Apologies to Peter, Paul, Mary and to The Hooters)

If you miss the lane I'm in, you will smash my great big car;
You can hear the drivers' scream a hundred times.
A hundred damns, a hundred bleeps, a hundred curses, a hundred times;
You can hear the drivers' scream a hundred times.

Lord I’m one, Lord I’m two, Lord I’m three, Lord I’m four,
Lord, I’m 5 million miles from my home.
5 million miles, 5 million miles, 5 million miles, 5 million miles
Lord, I’m five million miles from my home.

Not a pedal to the metal, not a penny to pay for gas;
Lord, I can’t go a-home this a-way on Isleta...
This a-way on Isleta, this a-way on Isleta, this a-way on Isleta,
Lord, I can’t go a-home this a-way or that-a-way either on Isleta!

If you miss the lane I'm in, you will smash my great big car;
You can hear the drivers' scream five million miles.

Two Hundred Days from October 17th ... That’s the timeline for the current PHASE ONE of PART TWO for the Arenal/Isleta Blvd. improvements from Rio Bravo to Beale. Will the planet still exist by then? Will we all have died from the Avian Flu? Won a Power Ball or two? Gotten a raise at work? Eaten enough ice cream to blast our cholesterol sky high? Wherever you go on Isleta, there you are. So enjoy.

Take note of those blinking signs, orange barrels and giant bulldozers. Your tax dollars are finally showing a bit of pay off for the South Valley where a traditional lack of sidewalks and the addition of mud have made rural life such joy after it rains or a pipe mysteriously breaks.

Get a new notebook for your car or use that rabbit-eared one for your seventh grade math to also keep up with your vehicle’s depressing miles per gallon of gas. You will have plenty of time to write a poem or two while snail-pacedly moving along on Isleta or achingly crawling over the railroad tracks on Cesar Chavez (aka Bridge) heading to work or home. You’ll have lots of time this month (and the next and the next) to consider what it means to you to be alive and well (or sick and tired) in the here and now.

Are you thankful for a lot of things or too miserably stuck waiting for life to get better? Aren’t we all just waiting for something? The waiting is the hardest part. What are we waiting for? Peace in Iraq and good weather without hurricanes or tornados? Waiting to pay off credit cards just as the buying season has arrived? Waiting to graduate from something and move on? The waiting is over. Tune in. Try to feel that old adage of “Be-ing Here Now” as you plow through that eternity of orange barrels in what seems an endless ONE LANE journey to the rest of your life. Say a prayer. Whistle a tune, sing a song, crank the CD player in your used-to-be-new car. In only about 500 million days, it wil all be over.

Happy Avian Turkey Season to you and yours.

Jeff Hartzer copyright 2005






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Written by Jeff Hartzer , The Poet's Corner appears monthly in Albuquerque's South Valley Ink.



Jeff Hartzer, MEd. presents a unique view of poetry as a magical gift waiting to be opened . Jeff is a poet, writer, teacher, and the Executive Director of the AirDance ArtSpace. ( 1-505-842-9418).

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The Poet's Corner

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Albuquerque, New Mexico 8712





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