Cases on the central reservation.

Seven silent monoliths,
queueing sentinels;
brown, blue, scuffed and battered,
standing side by side in dangerous grass,
A crawling cortege
files alongside the raping embrace
of metal strangers;
all eyes away from the cases.
Glances, drawn to glass-strewn,
jagged, residue of a careless second,
from this snailing train of imposed reverence.

Seven silent wombs,
encapsulators of treasured things:
neatly stacked tee-shirts (freshly washed),
an inflatable dinghy with two patches
clasping last years beach shoes
in prolonged embrace,
spare cash secreted in white socks,
the postcard list,
two special bedtime cuddlies.

Who will be without a postcard this summer ?

Which of the cuddlies is orphaned
along with the expectations and excited intentions
that are broken, scarred,
or ended
here ?

Who will claim these seven monuments
to demolished anticipation,
after the sirens have faded
into the pastel exhaust
of a “special” weekend ?

(written after seeing the wreckage of a car accident on a
motorway in the summer)

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About Keith Wallis

Keith Wallis Keith Wallis is an English poet. He is a senior part of the leadership team of Houghton Regis Baptist church. An engineering designer by trade he brings a eye for detail as well as faith into his poetry. He is currently ‘poet in residence’ at Ruby e-zine and a moderator at His blog of ekphrastic* poetry is: where you’ll also find links to his books and his other blogs. Married to Val in 1970 he has two sons and three grandsons. The eldest grandson is disabled and cannot communicate verbally. Val is a literacy teacher and occasionally despairs of her husbands rebellious use of punctuation. Though not an ‘academic’ (school was a disaster) he was always fond of writing. He began submitting work for publication in the 1980’s after being encouraged by David R Morgan at that time the local community writer in residence. A number of small press magazines and anthologies took the work (poetry and graphics). Four small booklets were published over the following few years, three published by Stride Publications and one by Sol Publications. Joining in 2005 (and subsequently becoming a moderator) re-energised his writing. Recently work has published by: RootsWorship, EveryDayPoets, PoetryMonthly International, Word Catalyst Magazine, The Cypress Times, Christian Poet's Pen, Perpetual Magazine, Bewildering Stories, FaithFilledFamily magazine and Ruby magazine. Recent books : 'in moments like these': 'a River of Small Stones': 'by still waters' : 'a River of Small Stones ii': *ekphrastic means using one form of art to inform another – Keith uses his own photography as that base on this blog.

1 thought on “Cases on the central reservation.

  1. Louis Kasatkin

    On my ,now,habitual trek (pilgrimage) across the vast swathes of the poetic uplands ,I encounter ” Cases on the central reservation ” ; my kind of poem! I like the style and content.It’s about the everyday sorts of things-motorway crashes,the casual giving up of lives, that,perhaps most people most of the time would not necessarily consider a subject matter warranting the attentions of poets. There is no other single event/occurence that embodies the negative aspect of our terribly efficient/modern/hurry along there,industrialised lifestyle than the motor car,its motorways and the long since accepted levels of mortality involved in getting from here to there as conveniently and impatiently as possible. Some of Keith’s phrases remind me of Borges in translation, “who will be without a postcard this summer ?” “monuments to demolished anticipation”. Borges himself writing of a minor poet who took his own life, came up with the haunting phrase,” And somewhere a mirror is expecting you, in vain “.And that’s someone else who wrote my kind of poems.

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