Wednesday, November 1, 2023

I felt Thoreau today....

Today begins my November poetry month with Poem #1: "I felt Thoreau today..." A couple of years ago, I decided to dedicated the month of November--my birthday month--to write, publish, and then share a poem each day on my blog and Facebook. At the end of the month, I will have a poetry reading of some of these poems. Stay tuned for more information. 

Recently, my wife and I along with her brothers were able to visit some of historical sites in New York. One of those was Walden's Pond. As an English major, I read some of Thoreau's writings, including Walden. It was euphoric in a way, being there on Walden's Pond and remembering some of his thoughts. Later that evening at the VRBO, I downloaded a copy of Walden and refreshed my memory. From the reading came this poem. Please enjoy!

"I felt Thoreau today..."

I felt Thoreau today at Walden’s Pond.
Granted, it was some years later, but I was there,
standing giddy at the edge of his Pond,
hearing his lilting voice whisper
from all corners of the pond, “live life simply,”
as the sun was setting, spewing rays of sun
across the pond until it slipped for a few moments
behind huge gray clouds that hung sheepishly
yet magnificently across the sky,
creating reflections in the water,
now blackened because of the shadows.

 I thought of my dreams, their directions,
sometimes swerving in and out of the simple path
that I thought I was leading, and how I was living my life,
which I had imagined, even beyond any imagination.

I, too, have met success “unexpected in common hours,”
thankful for the blessings that have seeped into my life
at opportune times, some truly unexpected but appreciated.

Often, along life’s way, I felt the tug and pull
of the “tonic of wilderness”—Montana, Wyoming,
Dominican Republic, and the isles of the Caribbean.
I enjoyed tromping around the islands,
along their sandy beaches and their lapping waves
and through the jagged mountains in the west,
taking photos of everything around me,
always clamoring for more because I could not
absorb “enough of nature” and its majesty.

I, too, learned to “reawaken and keep myself awake…
with an expectation of dawn” 
and what the beauty the day would bring.
While contemplating these things, Thoreau’s loon
swooped in, landed on the pond, stretched its neck
and then dove when a swimmer approached.
Soon, it emerged from the water many feet away and launched
itself against the sun and disappeared over the woods.

I did not want to leave, so I lingered just a bit longer,
basking in the solitude for just one more moment.
Then I turned away and headed back to the road,
thinking to myself “What price would I exchange
for a moment of contemplation and self-realization”
to live as one who advances confidently in the direction
of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life
which he has imagined?

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