Poetry Thursday: Finding your voice

art by nikki mcclure

This post is #4 in a series of 50 dedicated to the art and life of writing, in support of the 50 for 50 Project to benefit WriteGirl. If you like it, or if you think it could have been improved by a better writing education for its author, please give generously. And pass it on.

You begin by following the ones who went before.

Step by step you walk,
straining to find the right set of footprints,
for the trails lead everywhere,
Up mountains, through thickets,
into caves and crevasses,
clearly the work of those crazy, spelunking limericists,
marveling at the wonders the giants have left in their wake,
carved into trees
chipped into stones
blooming in rows
or artfully planted
to look random.

The maps, they never seem to work quite right.

Is this the lake? Was I supposed to turn there?
This road seems so much narrower
than the one in the picture,
than the one in the song,
than the one in my head.

I must be lost, you think.
I will wander this land for all eternity,
traveling in circles,
looping back on myself,
around and around.

I will never get There.

And then one day,
the light slants down at a particular angle
which you both notice
and do not
and the air feels familiar
but completely different
and there are no other footsteps but yours
and you are walking—no, you are walking,
blazing a trail for the next intrepid soul,
scattering your own seeds
and songs
and fairy messages
along the way.


Image inside the frame by Nikki McClure, one of a series of pieces from her beautiful yearly calendars. You can get it in a luxurious, desktop-sized image of inspiration with a $15 contribution to the 50-for-50 project on IndieGoGo, through September 13, 2011. After that, no dice, Bryce.