Ventura Highway

Ventura Highway

A Poem by kentuck14

VENTURA HIGHWAY

“ . . . in the sunshine
where the days are longer
and the nights are stronger
than moonshine . . .”
    --Dewey Bunnell
         of the rock group
         ‘America’, 1972


Flying down US 101 from the
Santa Barbara County line south
toward LA, I begin to sing aloud
the chorus of an old song--
a classic rock tribute
to this stretch of highway in
mythical southern California.

Dewey’s strange lyrics seem lost
in a sea of personal reflection . . .

Dewey Bunnell and his brother
stood by this same road thirty three
years before as military dad fixed a flat.
“Alligator lizards” formed
in the clouds above their heads
and the highway sign for the city of
Ventura stuck in Dewey’s memory . . .


“Free wind” doesn’t blow through
our hair as the van’s windows are up;
no “alligator lizards in the air;”
no “purple rain” on our windshield;
no wondering if “Joe” ever changed
his name. Doesn’t matter now . . .
We’re heading for greater Los Angeles
and Devonshire Street where our
actress daughter will train a further
                                              ten days.
Here we leave her to her future--
“wishin’ on a falling star
waiting for the early train . . .”

© 2020 kentuck14


Author's Note

kentuck14
From An American Journey West

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Reviews

This is my favorite of all the California cruises you've written that I've read lately! I am attached by the belly button to this song & the particular lyrics you quote. I use these lyrics in lots of stuff, even made an appearance in my new book. But as much as I've been inspired by this song & this band, you brought both to life a million times better than I ever have. You really plunged me! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Year Ago


kentuck14

1 Year Ago

You are most welcome!
T
Wow a superb poem as you journey , and your actress daughter woahh. A fantastic muse inking. Kudos.

Pls Pleez do read and comment on my newest poem.

Posted 1 Year Ago


kentuck14

1 Year Ago

Thank you for your kind words.
T
What a great song to earworm it's way into your mind! Especially for that stretch of road!

Posted 1 Year Ago


kentuck14

1 Year Ago

Thanks Sin . . . strange to type that!! Really loved that Group.
T
Nothing better than a good song to sing while driving.

Posted 1 Year Ago


kentuck14

1 Year Ago

you're so right Cherrie . . .Thanks for stopping by.
T
This song is not in the catalog of my head, but I am going to look it up and make it a part. I like that this installment of the journey is more reflective. Less about the journey itself and more about the ways we can get lost along the way in reflection, the future or even in the thoughts of others.

Now that we are here and learning that the journey is winding its way toward a stop where your daughter will part ways with the family, I am wondering if that was the seed of the journey to begin with. One last family hurrah before one of the family goes on with the story of her life.

I liked the way you wove the song (with its focus on the past) and your daughter's story (with its focus on the future) into the poem. And the one who is imprinting it all on his mind becomes a kind of vehicle for both as he catalogs the experience in his mind in the present of the poem. A very cool addition to the travel series, Tom. I have really enjoyed these.

Posted 1 Year Ago


kentuck14

1 Year Ago

E,
Thanks for dropping by. You can hear this group sing their songs on YouTube. Their music w.. read more
T., this is another enjoyable read about your California journey. You captured perhaps the one thing we most think about from such travels, music. I often associate places with music I heard the first time I visited, and I’m transported to those places when I later hear the music. Musicians do this so well, and poets. I remember the song well, and I heard it as I finished this poem. Thanks for sharing another travel experience with us.

Posted 1 Year Ago


kentuck14

1 Year Ago

R.E.
Yes . . . music is powerful . . . it stays with us long after the song ends. Thanks for .. read more
alligator lizards must be a west coast thing here on the east coast we just have a lot of groundhogs one day I'm gonna do the west coast I have so many friends over there:) I like the emotion you put into this and the sense of wonder in an exclamation point

Posted 1 Year Ago


kentuck14

1 Year Ago

Bunny,
Thanks for your thoughts on this one.
T
you help us travel that road with this poem....
T, have you ever been on or heard the song "Lake Shore Drive"?
every time i hear that one i am reminded of all the times i drove along Lake Michigan on that road...
love those highway songs and this highway poem...and loved America as well....great group...
several of their songs were timely for a couple of my relationships...especially "Sister Golden Hair" my first ex....
j.

Posted 1 Year Ago


kentuck14

1 Year Ago

Thx J. LSD sounds familiar . . . but only that. Yeah . . . America goes back a ways.
T

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Added on February 11, 2020
Last Updated on February 11, 2020

Author

kentuck14
kentuck14

Lexington, KY



About
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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