Monday, June 22, 2009

The Walk

The hills unsettle the distance
no longer wringing the fall of feet
shoes puff dust
streaked with brown
where worms would not tire
poking pink across this ground

On the heat-curtained miles behind
I tipped my ropes and hooks
against a salt bone tree
I could offer the moisture I found
but the blue would whirl it skyward
they steal the rain before I drown


Shadow said...

dust, heat, blue skies.... the images are tangible.

Catvibe said...

Sometimes your poetry really gives me pause. There are images here I really love, especially in the first stanza, a kind of journey, interesting adding the image of worms. Ropes and hooks make me think of climbing, and I am struck by 'salt bone tree' that is some kind of mystery I don't quite get, but that you offer moisture but seem to know it wouldn't really you would be pulled into the sea of that moisture if you offered it.

Your poetry is often like a puzzle, I know you are coding it for yourself, but you have no idea how powerful the urge is to solve it. I may not be anywhere close at all, which is probably kind of fun for you, huh? ;-) Watching me have at it like a worm to compost? (giggle) I like it though, even if I don't really understand it.

Chris Eldin said...

"On the heat-curtained miles behind" is my favorite line in this. Beautiful imagery, but I'll have to read it a few more times to understand this completely.

Gerry Boyd said...


Anonymous said...

Shadow, thanks. :) The heat was the most palpable thing for me.

Catvibe, it just means that I am probably a poor poet. My writing philosophy tends to require the reader to be part of the experience. I control what you see and experience, but it's up to you to feel and make conclusions. You have captured the key elements. I was reflecting on how we are all on this walk. It's hard to know how what to choose and what to endure. But the walk remains.

Chris, I'm fascinated by what rising heat does to our vision through the air.

Anonymous said...

Gerry, thanks!

the walking man said...

Poor Poet? As in you lack fundage because that is the only way you would be a poor poet Jason.

The imagery presented is not lovely but it is very real. I especially found the salt bone tree sticking with me. Slappin' me upside the head skeletal but once lush, mortal.

The last three lines speak to me of futility and inevitability but yet a willingness to parch the thirst of another if the conditions were right.

I like this very much.

Bebo said...

I hear "ringing the fall of feet"... but "wringing"... sucking all the water/moisture from the soles(souls) of the feet... as they make the desolate journey to the hills that unsettle the distance... passing the skeletal tree...

Okay... I can only say... WOW!

Aniket said...

Am in Cat's shoes here. Not sure if I got the message you wanted to convey out here. But I liked deriving my own interpretations form it. The thought it provoked in me was not being able to hold on to one thing you truly wanted to hold on to. The one thing that gave meaning to the whole journey of life.

But like Cat said. I may be nowhere close to what you wanted to convey.

Sarah Hina said...

I like the foreshadowing of mortality, with those eternally writhing worms. Is this statuary from a sarcophagus? It seems surprisingly sensual for that, though.

I might be totally off, but I did find a curious salvation at the end. With the sky and its clouds seizing the load and burden, so that we may continue the walk.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

I feel a certain submission here - a deference to things beyond our control. It seems that the "I" in this poem is saying "I'll do what I can, but will it be enough in the end?" Interesting picture.

Anonymous said...

Walking Man, I appreciate the words of encouragement, my friend. I also feel close to your vision of the poem. The bone tree. Futility perhaps, but defiance.

Bebo, I can see you feel it. :)

Aniket, if you have your own interpretation kicking around in your brain, then I've done my job. For the record, I have a resonance with your interpretation. What we hold and what we can't are sometimes beyond the power of our choices.

Sarah, believe it or not, these statues are holding up the tower of Philadelphia's City Hall. It is the tallest masonry structure in the world, and the base of the tower is ornamented with these statues depicting the different peoples of the world. And you're right. There is indeed a curious salvation at the end.

Kaye, that's a potent question. Some things are beyond us, no matter how we may fight. There is deference here. But a deeper defiance endures.

Woman in a Window said...

Yes, the image of rising heat. We live along railroad tracks and I love to sit on them and watch the day change through the heat-curtained day. Love that, heat-curtained.

Very evocative.