Poem: Voice on the Trail

Copy of Picture 177

Voice on the Trail

—with a nod to poet Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980)

All the voices of the Wood called “Shannon!”

But it was soon solved; it is nothing, it is not

my real name.

My real name is written on a stone kept warm by eternal

embers I am still too cold to hold.

Words like Real and Endure

Sound like Health and Hell

Then I see what is calling, it was the road

I traveled, miles behind, warning me of the FORK

The sound bounces forward, then back, right-side-down

warns of mud ahead―not to me, but to anyone.

And at last I saw where the road lies wide,

and clear orchard rows, easy fruit and bundled grass

roll along a tan, green and blue landscape.

Not for me. Not for me. Not for me.

I came into my clear being uncalled, alive, and sure

of all but what I see.

Nothing speaking to me, none know my real name―

not the owl, the fish or the elk, but I offer myself

to the strangers and it is well.

Strangers we are.

I know them all.

-SPL

#

Published by

Shannon Laws

Shannon P. Laws, born in Seattle, Washington, lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. Author of three poetry books, "Madrona Grove", "Odd Little Things", and "Fallen" and an audiobook of her select mid-life dating satire poems, "You Love Me, Your Love Me Not". For seven years she produced award-winning community radio programs that promoted the PNW music/art community. Shannon's other interests include operating her voice-over company, Chickadee Productions, and Poetry Club. Since 2015 Poetry Club is dedicated to the neighborhood discussion and sharing of poetry.

2 thoughts on “Poem: Voice on the Trail”

  1. Thank you for your encouraging comments Susanissima!

    Poems are such interesting puzzles. An editor/friend of mine, who I asked regarding this poem, just returned her review. She thought the poem would have more power if I brought it into the present tense; which I did right away, in full agreement. She also recommended two different lines for the end, under the thought that it made the poem more mysterious.
    My lines: “Strangers we all are, I know them not.”
    Her lines: “Strangers we are. I know them all.”

    Her argument is that we all know each other because we are basically the same inside, wants, needs etc. I feel it prestigious to assume I KNOW a person. (Do we ever really know anyone?)

    Conversation went on a bit. I’ll leave it how it is for now. My book is scheduled for editing in Fall 2015.

    Like

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