The Way

I never coursed the twilight riverbanks
as you did, narrow translucent frames
of sunset’s red, the white face of moonrise .
This man’s exodus treads sterile desert,
trackless, sometimes illumined
by cold lunar light, more often cursed
by solar sear. My body became
a parchment chart of these wanderings,
dry memorial scars of the paths
I’ve traveled, the steps blown smooth behind me
by winds of time. Scratched words and images
I must recall in finding my way when I reach
these blessed oases of light and life
…you’re reading one.

© 2012 Joseph Hesch

39 thoughts on “The Way

  1. I smiled all the way through this, first because it is wonderful, and second because I wrote a poem this morning with such a similar theme.

    “dry memorial scars of the paths
    I’ve traveled, the steps blown smooth behind me
    by winds of time”


  2. This is sublime, Joe. I ‘ve read it several times and each time I get lost in the flow from one word to another and can almost see that “parchment chart of these wanderings” appear on the narrator as he travels through them. Brilliant!

  3. Thank you, Peter. I wouldn’t call it an epiphany, per se. But it was a moment of clarity, image and feeling that washed over the page in a flash.
    Honoured (see what I did there?) to find you here!!

  4. Life is hard… and you’ve put your life before those so poetic symbols, those grand gods: twilight, the sun the moon and then …you

  5. Having walked in the desert, I’ll take the riverbanks any day. Preferably with an umbrella, and an umbrella drink.

    This flows well and feels like a journey of discovery. When you arrive, it isn’t about arriving at the oasis, though, it seems. Just about remembering and writing it all down. Of course you’re a writer. You can always fill your canteen LATER! LOL

  6. All the notes are resolved in the final chord of that last line. I really enjoyed this, reading it three times through to absorb what I could. Thank you for sharing this bit of parchment.

  7. Love the smooth pathway behind you. We find inspiration everywhere and I believe that something of our life influences everything that we write whether we know the source or not. The voice of this poem is gentle and makes the world feel like a great place to live. Thank you, Joe.

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