The road lay on the plain

Just before the night,

A simple country lane

Stretching darkly out of sight,


The world Nabisco bound,

And gone to clover,

No animals around

That haven’t been run over,


When suddenly a tree

Twisted up and caught

Too rapidly to see,

Like something I’d thought,


Victim to excessive speed,

Phantom of the fast lane,

What motorists all need,

Branches burning on the brain,


The roadway brushing past,

Meadows turning into range,

Nothing that can last,

The white line getting strange,


Like this mess of branches

Singled out for formal wonder

Between the distant ranches,

Advertised by thunder


Complete with lightning flashes

Like those drive-in horror shows;

The rejected weather lashes

At the pickup as it slows,


Erasing with its liquid zest

The dirt of recent memory,

But not that point of interest,

The Krumholtz on Route 3.


Ignoring what the nation thinks

(Centered here in nowhere)

Is a wooden kind of sphinx,

A plant without a prayer,


Is too indifferent and so

Reluctantly I turn around

And head back to the glow

Of sunset on the famous mound,


Reasoning that federal sages

Aren’t impressed so easily,

Calling up the evil magus

Who might have made this witches’ tree-


What stroke of heart or choking cold

Or local cowboy lyrical

Put the laws of earth on hold

And turned a stump into a miracle?  


Here’s the pompous highway sign,

Which, in the desert mist,

Offers up no loose-lipped line

To give away the gist


That waits for us in darkness

Behind the sandy dale

Like the monster in Loch Ness,

Silent in the growing gale-


But what is this, the fire

Of the wheaty world,

The rancher’s hyped-up pyre

On which our hopes lie curled?


Just a stack of worn-out tires,

Not the mythic yew

To which the driving mind aspires:

Interest lies in point of view.