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  • Brownie's Version

How Much Further to Go?

What starts out as a memory ends up as a metaphor which is how it so often goes when writing. While the conscious mind is busy doing one thing, the subconscious slips in sideways with something else that needs to be revealed, understood and felt. This is cathartic medicine and one of the reasons I write. Here's an example that ends up distilled into a youthful yearning to find my place in the sun.

How Much Further to Go?

We’re piled in the car

headed down the road

on our summer holiday

a family of five


sleeping bags

pots and pans

food and clothes

God, I’d hate to think

how much does this car weigh?

I’ve got my favourite doll

and a suitcase for her clothes

I’ve got my own pillow

it’s my turn by the window

the air coming through is sweeter

than wild rose

when I say

how much further to go, Daddy?

hey, how much further to go?

After hours of big brother teasing

pulling at my hair

we finally climb the last hill

‘round the last bend

and at last

the lake’s down below us

glistening there

while the radio sings


lollipops and rainbows

everything that’s wonderful

is sure to come my way

I firmly believe that to be true

and so I say

hey Daddy, how much further to go?

how much further to go?

We pull into Todd’s Tent Ground

the tent’s are tightly jammed packed

but we find one small spot

for our golden canvas

Daddy quickly pulls out the slack

on the guidelines

I will invariably trip over

Daddy gets annoyed

says why don’t you all just go

jump in the lake

so we do

but first like puppies we roll

and tumble on down

through the clover

Our days are spent




jumping from the raft

picking cherries

eating pigs in a blanket

growing up far too fast

every summer, one less to go

so why it is I always wanna know

how much further to go?

hey daddy, how much further to go?

Can you take us back to Peachland, Daddy?

hey, let’s go back to Summerland

I want to see our young faces

in the lantern light

feel the warmth

of my mom’s hand

cawing crow

wake me in the morning

let this be the day

we come across Ogopogo

breathing fire

and loudly roaring


but the garden’s not open to everyone

says Daddy

nor visits with the king

I’m going to have to walk

the road of ashes

if I want to hear bells

across the ocean


tend the rose child

ain't no thistle's gonna grow

and the golden rule

is all the religion

we think any of you children

needs to know

But remember

she who expecteth nothing

shall not be disappointed

oh but Daddy

it’s been years since I've seen a shooting star

and felt anointed

I’m so tired of living


I want to be a part of the incantations

to summer

to feel that sacred sound surround me


how much further to go?

hey Daddy, hey Daddy

hey Daddy, how much further to go?

Are we there yet, Daddy?

Are we there yet?

hey Daddy?

hey Daddy, how much further to go?

© Anne Beverly Brown

September 1991


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