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Featured are poets who took to the backroads and byways in a December 2023 prompt, describing their journeys and jaunts through backdrops and panoramic imaginations with descriptive and remarkable poetry. One poet took ILA on the roads of life's journeys, another poet took to dream travel and two poets took the more picturesque route through beautiful landscapes. JOURNEY OF THE BACK ROADS

As I set forth upon the winding paths,
Through hidden valleys and forgotten lands, I am free, a gypsy of the open road, With naught but dreams and wonders at my hand. The back roads whisper secrets in my ear, Their whispers carry tales of old and true, Each turn unveils a world unknown, unseen, A canvas painted with shades of every hue. No bustling crowds or towering cityscapes, Just solitude and nature's symphony, The open road, a partner in my journey, A dance of wild, untouched serenity. Through fields of gold and shadowed mountain peaks, I wander, unencumbered and carefree, In every curve and bend, a story waits, A poet's heart, forever wild and free. © Concetta Pipia USA DREAMTIME TRAVEL Traveling alone at my own pace Gives me freedom and space; To relish the beauty of a journey With ample breathtaking views at liberty. The train I'm on, goes fast and slow. In every nook and cranny, it leaves me Feeling with vim, vigor and zest; It's a country train I'm on, going west. Passing through a scenic mountain range: The alluring vistas have no end; Along a zigzag rail in the midst of sylvans' trail; Under long dark tunnels, there's both chill and thrill. Valleys down the valley of blue haze Covering the landscape behind the maze Of rugged terrain and sandstone walls Weaving wild imaginings at sunset, when twilight falls. Echoes of myths these mountains breathe Whom people keep their honor and respect Native legends are bound by a legacy In dreamtime folklore, their ancestors lay. The train I'm on goes fast and slow For travelers like me wanting to know. How vast these mountains can keep abreast - The stories of old I heard in the west. © Leah Dancel SH-Australia DRIVING THROUGH LIFE Drive carefully unto this road called "life", People will be switching lanes on you without giving any prior signal nor warning. There may be humps and obstacles in the middle of the road. Sometimes...
A traffic jam would stop you abruptly from getting a little faster to your destination. Or...
A sudden, heavy downpour could give you that blurry vision while carefully driving to this journey of life. Yes! It's going to be a very rough and tangling road,
And you may be burdened on the weight of the world caused by some wrong turns and bumps. But... Don't shrink from any setback that would come your way, Take the traces of each and every trial, heartache and pain that may come to crash you as motivations, To keep you on the right track. Piece by piece... Forge the fires that once consumed you into lighting your new path, And be more determined on your journey back to a better you. By taking the small acts of self love along the way, To be able to get a chance to rise from the ashes. And eventually... It will lead you back to the road where it breathed life anew for a clear and brighter future ahead. © Lame Beaver Philippines BACKROADS AND BYWAYS On the byway with the Majestic Mayon the world's volcano with a perfect cone provides a picturesque scene for travelers keeping warm company for the drivers The poet in my unleashed mixed emotions the clouds hovering, truly the reflection of the day's mood as it sashays in the horizon setting the tone for the colors' fusion Passing by this backroad is a pleasant task thoughts fly in many directions, no need to ask when the sunlight's delight for us to bask everything is dropped, no hiding behind masks. Filipinos are fortunate for this scenery the thin smoke cloaked by imagery cotton clouds a sight to behold when sometimes a rainbow appears with a pot of gold. A nomad, a gypsy I must be in a previous life for backroads and byways are familiar to me the thrill and joy I feel, I totally agree defines me as a person, born to be free. © Rosemarie Miranda Philippines Photography of Rosemarie Miranda

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