Tag Archives: journeys

By Aid of Telescope: a kenning poem

Reach out with your eye-spear;
the evidence is plain.
Out on the great wide sea road
we will all meet again.

Each underneath the canopy
that makes up the star carpet,
despite the distances between us
we will once again be met.

Imagine out beyond the known,
in that great thought cloud of the mind.
Together, we may walk a path;
who knows what we may find?

17 APR 2014

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Journey’s End

Every journey starts out simply,
with a single thought:
where am I, where have I been,
and is it where I ought
to imagine is my place,
my center in this life,
or is there more to me than this,
a home, a job, a wife,
a few possessions, give or take,
some good deeds, half undone,
almost a mid-length sermon’s worth;
does this make up my run?

Every journey starts out simply,
one step at a time:
which is the direction onward,
which hill should I climb,
beyond the horizon, will I
find that which I seek,
will there be fresh water
or a decent place to eat,
and more importantly, perhaps,
why should I choose just one,
when other routes seem just as fine
why leave them all undone?

Every journey starts out simply,
at least in the mind:
here I am at x,
and I will leave this y behind,
forward in direction,
stabbing outward with a will,
never for a moment
giving thought to standing still,
seeking something other,
something else, some thing undone,
something that won’t be remembered
when my journey’s done.

21 APR 2013

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On Destinations

One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things. – Henry Miller, US author (1891-1980)

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Preparation for the journey

What is required of me, that you will listen
and subsequently think on what I’ve said?
No matter how inane a task, my mission
will be to fulfill that desire, instead
of simply guessing what you like to read
then stabbing it out with electron pen,
my want to please forgoing style for speed
and coming up still short, time and again.

The problem is, of course, that just your eyes
or ears, in single sense, are not enough;
if we are to peer through the world’s disguise
together, where the veils are thick and rough,
the whole of your perception must be used.
I know, it is presumptive that I ask.
After all, you likely did not choose
to simply browse, and then be lain this task.

But think on it, before you make reply;
and just imagine what may come of it.
With not much effort more, man learned to fly —
to falter now would mark us hypocrites.
The world in song, and words, and rhyme awaits,
its melody unheard for many years;
let not our time be wasted in debates
or pared away by worry, doubt or fears.

What is required of you? Your mind and heart,
a willingness to try, to fail, to laugh.
Just beyond the horizon’s where we’ll start,
and each day get no closer than by half.
Companions for the journey must decide
before they step one foot upon the trail
if there’s a chance their paths won’t coincide
five miles anon, lest their quest fail.

So let’s be sure we travel the same road:
to find out, if we can, the reasons why,
discovering an underlying code
that fuels the universe. At least, to try
to hear songs long forgotten by mankind,
those melodies connecting us as one.
Such treasures should be worthwhile things to find;
if we agree on that, our quest’s begun.

24 May 2005

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The Seeker’s Lament

For forty years I’ve sought some kind of truth
and come up empty-handed, more or less.
What dreams I held like treasures in my youth
have lost their gleam; my hands, their tenderness.

The journey has not gone as I had planned,
nor have the self-prescribed instructions been much good.
The waters beyond my small plot of land
remain uncharted depths, and what sparse food

I gleaned from these great oceans has become
like horded manna, fit for only flies;
my touch has turned rare jewels to lumps of coal.
My tongue once loose with song has been struck dumb,
anesthetized by years of speaking lies.
Now, even my illusions cannot hold.

Along the rocky shore, I peer in vain
out in the mist that crowds the twilight shore
with eyes now worn and weak, their muscle strained
from nights in candlelight. There is no more

soft music in the wind that brings delight,
nor quiet silence where I find some peace.
Each moment brings no end, just fruitless fight;
and sleep, once fitful, brings me no release.

At midnight, when the world is calm and still
and secrets are exchanged between the veils,
I stand offstage, behind the curtain’s wall
and where the footlight shadows barely spill,
just listening to others’ wondrous tales,
and realize I’ve found nothing at all.

27 JAN 2005

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Questioning

The exercise this week relates to the poetic foot the dactyl, which is basically a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed ones. A typical waltz pattern, you could say. Here’s the example I used, with successive stanzas in dactylic monometer, dimeter, trimeter, tetrameter, pentameter and hexameter.

Listening
carefully:
wondering,
wandering —
what is the
reason for
being a
questioner?

There can be questions that
tear at the fabric of
what seems so vital and
yet is not meaningful.

Knowing these queries can lead to the
answers, but only if asked with a passionate
selflessness, without an ultimate
motive or reason for seeking them.

That makes the seeking out answers more perilous;
often it leads to a crisis of temperment:
peace is oft lost in the battle for dominance,
forcing your hand as you make your way traveling.

Once in a while, though, the pathway is stunningly beautiful,
filled with an essence of wonder that speaks quite unconsciously.
These moments, glimpses of possible, reachable paradise
Give us the courage to press on in spite of our maladies.

Courage is needed for much of the journey to find out our destiny,
bravery wrought from the stuff we think commonplace, meaningless wandering.
Beautiful, gossamer dreams that as children we thought were reality:
These are the valuable ores that construct a world we find worth living in.

17 JAN 2005

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A Pathless Land

I have not found the answers seeking truth,
nor even formed the questions halfway right;
the mysteries that tempted me in youth
are still in shrouded mists hidden from sight.

The path under my feet begins and ends
a single step from where my legs touch ground;
and sacred destinations? Well, my friends,
not more than a few moments rest I’ve found.

And yet, I would not trade the journey made
for any great reward from gods, or king.
I have become a very different man
than had I come here leading some parade.

It seems that fumbling, half-sure wandering brings
experience beyond all dreams and plans.

11 JAN 2005

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