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

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

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.



  1. Oh, wow. Beautiful. I’m definitely in the lost-questioning why the map is broken-wondering if I’m ever getting anywhere phase of this journey … and looking forward to the place you evoke so gorgeously in the last stanza. xox

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