ROUTE 66 … Open Road For Promiseland – VEGAS



I include below a section reproduced from the jacket cover of the book.  It may help to put John Powls’ current work into perspective.  Today, below that, I give one more poem from John’s ‘ROUTE 66’ Odyssey.


 Las Vegas, Nevada


Kitsch and culture
Fries and fine
Aircon chill and
Burning strip
Daylight and daynight
Huge inside
Reduced outside
Rational and rash

What more
Can I tell you
About Vegas

A little
Light headed at
Last leg looming
It was where
I cashed in
The faithful
Grey SUV

My prairie rolling
Forest forging
Canyon crawling
Covered wagon
And put it all
On red

The colour
Of Lady Luck
Lipstick and Louboutins
Cliché but not cheap
A carmine
Chevy Camaro
And the top down
High rolling
Desert scorch
Dragging Main
To California

Says it all


Images … Carol Ballenger/Google Earth



The full title of the book is ‘ROUTE 66 : OPEN ROAD FOR PROMISELAND’ … ISBN 978 1 906690 64 7

Copyright      John Powls – Poems 2016
Copyright      Carol Ballenger – Images 2016

Published by Halstar (

The book is available for purchase from (USA); (UK) or ordered via a bookshop who would get it from the publisher at    wavylines-blue-longest


The Touchstone

This poem is inscribed on the  MILLENNIUM  STONE,  the first menhir to be erected on Dartmoor for many years. It stands on the open moor near Princetown, Devon.

The Touchstone


This stone touching

Open moor and sky

Granite land mark

Raised to stand

For all times

As one time;

Now, then and ever

In love and beauty

Our story is a book

Always open

At the centre

Half of experiences

Half of

Un-named hopes.



‘John Powls … Poet
AD 2000’

(Poem and inscription submitted by the author)

The fuller explanation printed below is an extract from  the ‘Legendary Dartmoor’ website at:  The Touchstone, Dartmoor


. . .  this menhir is probably the first one to be erected on Dartmoor since the Bronze Age. To mark the millennium, John Powls decided it would be a fitting monument to celebrate the new century with and put his idea to the National Park. At the time John Powls was the ‘poet in residence’ with the national park and so he wrote a poem to be inscribed on the stone. The stone was erected on Rundlestone Crest during the summer solstice in 1999. There was then a dedication ceremony held during the winter solstice in December 1999. The stone for the menhir came from the old prison quarry where Powls was the one-time governor and the poem was carved on it by Kevin Andrews of Polzeath in Cornwall. The touchstone stands at a proud 2 metres from the ground.