A San Lois Obispo Interlude at a Motel 6

A San Lois Obispo Interlude at a Motel 6

A Poem by kentuck14

    AT A MOTEL 6

Arrived mid-day at a Motel 6 . . .
The lady at the desk says: “Been booked
solid for this day a month ago.”
The traveler asks: “So, you don’t have a
            room for five?”
Lady at the desk says: “Boy, are you daring!”
Providence gave us a room on the first floor.

2:45 PM . . .
My wife (with a bruised tail bone after a fall in
Cambria) and daughters are in the sun-warmed
        waters of the motel pool.
Traffic goes by on the busy highway just yards
beyond the pool’s fence, where I lounge,
writing in my journal. It’s suppose to be
a time of rest,
relaxing after days on the road.

At pool-side . . .
An older man is reading a book and marking it
with a yellow High-Liter. A bible sits on the
plastic table before him. His name is Dick;
he and his wife have come over from Bakersfield.
(I had noticed an older woman in the pool.)        
“Cooler over here than in Bakersfield,” he says.  
After Cambria and Morro Beach it seems hot to me.

Life is lived out in points of view . . . I see us as
strangers on a walk through four dimensions,
moving through divergent time and places,
different circumstances, with dissimilar
experiences on the map of human affairs.
Meeting at a crossroad, we perceive the moment
with the past hanging over us like a shadow.
No man may be an island, but surely,
every man
is a geography of his own, perhaps hard to pinpoint
exactly---yet, two converge without major incident
pool-side at a Motel 6.

Later we eat dinner in downtown SLO
and wander casually up and down the tourist
laden streets. Life is pleasant---treating us well.
But then, the day ends with cramps and diarrhea,
and little sleep this night due to noisy neighbors
behind the paper-thin walls of a Motel 6.
Even in sunny California paradise is hard to find;
or at best . . .  it is hard for one to keep.

© 2019 kentuck14

Author's Note

Further adventures in An American Journey West

My Review

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nice work says i! delightful musings on self, others and life in general .. all from poolside Motel 6. The setting makes this every man's story .. the working middle class .. i did a travel Nurse assignment and took several days to really treat myself by renting a room at one of the SLO beach resort hotels .. it was off season and the hotel was renovating so i got a really good deal. My memories are so vividly ones of quiet and peace ... the ocean waves outside my 2nd story small patio .. sea gulls floating just feet from me on the wind ... a Motel 6 guy out of his element; but so at peace ... I love your travel log .. it is delightful reading .. smooth and well put together to share an everyday experience no matter who one is .. with that wonderful philosophical moment ... so pivotal in the scene ...

Posted 1 Year Ago

I love the philosophical slant of this one, Tom. Some really stand out ideas here. I especially enjoy the idea of paradise being nearly impossible to hold on to. So much of experience is just fleeting moments that we look back on and wish we would have paid closer attention to at the time.

But, this series you are sharing shows that you were present on this journey, so, there it is. Memory preserved in a certain kind of paradise. In the present, sometimes, we aren't aware of how much the moment will mean to us later. I like the way this poem (and the others that belong with it) shows how we can reflect on the past and inject it with the dignity maybe every moment deserves.

The short conversations with strangers. The walks. The swims. The little details that remind us that, yes, we are and have been very much alive.

I love the idea that 'every man is a geography of his own.' Such truth in that and it opens the whole poem out into a philosophical musing that I really enjoy. Great work on this one. I think it's one of my favorites of the series.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

Thanks much for your lengthy review. I appreciate your kind words and your comments.
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Added on December 8, 2019
Last Updated on December 8, 2019



Lexington, KY

Started reading and writing poetry while in the Army many years ago. I picked up a book of poems by Leonard Cohen in a bookshop on Monterrey CA's Fisherman's Wharf and went on from there. I've had a n.. more..

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