Afternoon Poetry

The word “poetry” elicits a wide variety of responses from people, but the most common one seems to be exhausted disinterest.  Asking someone to read a poem is like asking them to complete a math problem.  I understand, I really do.  But, I took a course in American Literature last spring and developed a new appreciation for it – although more for the free verse style of Walt Whitman.      

This weekend I decided to write a short poem with the intention of taking a picture to go with it.   I’m not normally poetic – I prefer writing short stories and am steadily working on book about my Irish adventures.  However, there was a vision in my head I needed to somehow express this weekend.   I have absolutely no idea what title to give it. 

Thank you, Ronna for helping me put together this shot!   Here is the yet to be named poem.

In this journey, he is the kicked-up dust on the road
that settles to the ground moments after I pass by.   

The wind lifts the fading footprint into the air,
and it becomes a swiftly diffusing memory across the ethers.    

And you, my love, are the phantasm of a wandering spirit. 
You flicker across the horizon, pulling my heart forward but never closer.

16 thoughts on “Afternoon Poetry

  1. You’ve answered my previous question about your relationship with poetry. 🙂 Your poem is lovely and once again, you’ve created a lovely pairing of words and photo…It’s really cool, Jolene, to witness the ongoing evolution of your artistry.

  2. Great pairing of words and image. An area I think you should definitely continue to explore.

    Photographs and words
    Both make pictures in mind’s eye
    Capturing a thought

  3. A beautiful image, Jolene! I have to admit that I am one of those to whom poetry is like a foreign language, I almost understand it at times.

    1. Thank you, Ted! There’s a lot of it that seems foreign to me as well, and I like writing! I think it tends to be very personal for the writer, and sometimes it’s difficult to understand what they were trying to get across no matter how beautiful the words are.

  4. You should follow your heart and continue writing. This small poem is very nice. I think poetry is about describing emotions with colorful, physical things that the reader can relate with. And emotions are what poetry is. You have an ability to display that, very well indeed. I too am a fan of Whitman and have been composing free verse poetry since before I could write, though oddly most of my absolute favorite poets wrote metered poetry. At three I remember my mother writing my poetry down for me. May I tell you a story about another poet, who wrote her very first poem at age 32? Mary Frye wrote what I think is the most beautiful poem I’ve ever read, and she never really wrote anything significant after this either. She was a Jewish refugee from Europe who fled to America just before WWII started. Her friend was also a Jewish refugee who wanted to return to Europe to visit her dying mother, but she could not go because it would have meant almost certain death, or at least imprisonment. So after the mother died alone, Mary felt so overwhelmed by her friends situation, she loved her friend so dearly, she wrote this poem on the back of a napkin to give to her friend, to give her something beautiful to ease her mind in some small way. Poetry strikes us all in different ways, whether we write it or read it. When i view her poem it makes me happy because my own mother passed early on, and when I realize the emotion Mary felt while writing it, the love she felt for her friend which caused her to write this, it makes me cry. Poetry is a beautiful way of expressing emotion. Sometimes on so many different levels. You are good at that Jolene.

    Do not Stand at My Grave and Weep
    Do not stand at my grave and weep
    I am not there. I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush.
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry;
    I am not there. I did not die.

    1. Hi John – I’ve always felt that good writing, or good poetry, should paint a picture with words. As you say, it’s a beautiful way of expressing emotions. Thank you for your kind comments and for sharing this poem. I enjoyed it as well. 🙂

  5. I’m not much of a poet myself, being more into short stories, and currently working on a novel myself, but I think you’ve done a splendid job with this piece. Short and to the point. I’m also quite fond of free verse style.

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