An Interior Journey

An Interior Journey

A Poem by Andrew
"

We are one in the same.

"

A vast sea of gray surrounds me

As I made that faithful journey home

Blind to any advice of saviors 

For this trek I must take alone


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Focused rays of the breaking dawn

Beam down on drops of subtle dew

A prism of enchanting lights

Guides me home and back to you


Rough old straps of dated baggage

Slow me down as I grasp for life

Their pain becomes unbearable

Cutting shoulder flesh like a knife


Mountains loom in the distance

Breathing fire and spitting ice

Knowing not what fate awaits me

Mocking death and taunting vice


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On the horizon of this sun-swept prairie

Stands a man in robes of the deepest blue

Lines of wisdom speak stories seldom told

A twinkle of wit in his eyes faded hue


Approaching the man I noticed his cane

Each groove told a story of mountains peaked

Statuesque in his noble appearance

Softly muttering as he started to speak


"Don't let the wrinkles and white hair fool you,"

He whispered with a grin that caught my eye

"A life like mine is one of a kind, boy!

And you best believe I'm not afraid to die"


"My will is to send you on a journey

Unconventional, and unique in a way

Should you fail to make this journey, my boy

Regret will haunt you for the rest of your days"


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Reluctance quickly filled my heart

Froze the blood flowing through my veins

After all, it's easier to run away

And circumvent all chance of pain


Hesitation not unfounded 

Staring blankly to the world 

I've tried, I've tried, I've tried this once

Success I've never had before


"Once is not nearly enough, my boy"

Reaching out, his arm clothed in blue

"I will make you a sacred promise"

Swearing on his life to see me through


My baggage still bore rough old straps

Yet the pain began seceding 

Left, Right, Left and off I went

To soothe the old man's pleading


"Wait a minute," I stopped to think

"Today is yesterday's tomorrow

I've put this trip off all my life 

And made more time than sorrow"


"How could you betray my trust?"

The man in robes rasped in my ear

"I swore my life to see you through,

I thought I'd made my message clear!"


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Alright, alright, I'll journey tonight!

I loudly proclaimed with exasperation

Caving to the old man's incessant plea 

To push onward through this degradation


"Opportunity knocks but once in a while

I would suffer no loss by taking this chance"

Trodding along my pace remained steady

Picking myself up by the seat of my pants


"Wait a minute," I stopped to think

"Today is yesterday's tomorrow

I've put this trip off all my life 

And made more time than sorrow"


"I believe this journey can wait, my friend"

Resting my baggage on a mound by a tree

"Clearly there's no point in venturing further 

I need to watch out for number one, you see"


Crawling towards me the old man whimpers

"How can you take my life with such ease?"

His twinkle and grin had vanished completely 

"Go on your journey, I'm begging you, please" 


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What journey, old man?

You're lacking a plan

To see my travels through


"Your journey, my boy!

Life is not a toy!

I gave you my own, now move!"


What's wrong with a little contemplation?

It's turned into flagrant hesitation!

You've filled me with rage!

You've killed me with age!

I find you confusing

This isn't amusing

I blame you

I am you

You're lying 

I'm dying

I'm dying?

We're dying

How can I fix it?

Quit all your mischief!

There's no point now

our chances are blown.

Nonsense my boy,

we've only grown.

It can still be completed?

We are not yet defeated!

Get off that mound and 

go

go

go 


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The twinkle in the old man's eye

Rushed like water through a floodgate

He winked at me and grinned and said

"Come now, boy, we musn't be late"


Strengthened now with firm resolve

I understood my expectation

The old man and I, see, we were one 

No need for further contemplation 


We moved on with a skip in our step

Strength in our heart, love in our mind

The journey now was crystal clear

It was with us when we sought to find


The trailhead of our journey rose

The old man lit up as he saw the climb

Left, Right, Left and off we went

The journey was ours, the first step, mine


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My legs began burning

My stomach was churning

My heart pounded fast

To the beat of the drum


Finally awakened

My world began shaking

Off in the distance

A weary faint hum


The tune was melodic

And slightly hypnotic 

Drawing me closer

It begged me to come


I staggered I stumbled

My thoughts became jumbled

Weakness surrounding 

Uncomfortably numb 


Blood sweat and tears

My sum of all fears

So close to the end

Your will has been done


I've finally finished

All doubt diminished

Learning the lesson 

There's no need to run


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"You've done it, my boy, I'm truly proud,"

The old man sat and it ceased to hum

"Funny thing is, that was your first step

You're ahead of the game, but far from done"








© 2010 Andrew



Author's Note

Andrew
I've finally finished the poem! I know the ending is lacking in the grammar department, I'll touch it up soon. All comments welcome!

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Featured Review

It is so refreshing to see a young person embracing the antiquated old values of rhyme and meter, and to do so as effectively as you have. I agree with dburke, about "life" vs. "knives", also "ice" and "night" is less than ideal, but it nearly brings a tear to an old man's eye to see one making the effort!
As to content, I'll reserve judgement, as you DID say it was but a preliminary chapter, which presumably means more to come. But the berobed man, standing on the horizon is an apt figure for a reachable, if not an easy goal, and "a twinkle of wit" taken together with "whispered with a grin" suggests he knows that journey, and may even identify with the boy's burning need to know. I might tweak the first two stanzas, so as to omit one or the other of the two references to going home ("guides me home", "makes my...journey home") Final note: "Statuesque" is one word, no hyphen required.
A very ambitious premise! I hope you stick with it! I can hardly wait to see more. Good job!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

This is an extraordinary piece of writing! The story is incredible and the style lends itself very well to the narrative genre.

"Today is yesterday's tomorrow" is such a wonderfully trite line for someone to use for procrastination. Absolutely brilliant.

Posted 7 Years Ago


It's taken me far too long to review this and I apologise profusely.

What an incredible piece of writing .. its flow is almost spellbinding tho in parts i had to re-read not realising the threads of two voices were in fact only one.

There are lines here that make me drool with admiration and yes, a little envy, metred yet natural: "Wait a minute," I stopped to think .. "Today is yesterday's tomorrow .. I've put this trip off all my life .. And made more time than sorrow"

I see your words as a great collection of paintings, each with its own colours and shades .. you write quite specifically of feelings, thoughts, not merely words

I'll come back to read more!.







'

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

DUDE (one of my favorite sayings). You took me on a odyssey with your words. I had no choice but to follow them to the very end. I loved the journey and was quite captivated. VERY impressive work here. You have a gift with wordage. Keep up the GREAT work!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dear Andrew,

I have come late to reading this poem. Two of my friends have already been here (Ellen and Mark). Both are wonderful poets and excellent reviewers, and I must say I agree with them. This is first class work. Yes there may be some tweaks that would improve things here and there, but that can be said of all writing. And you will do this over time, because a piece like this can't be let alone and will go through continual review and revision by the author. So there is nothing to worry about there. But the story and the message is what makes this such a powerful piece. The interplay of the old man and the younger man, one and the same person, is a wonderful foil for your message of moving through life, striving upward one step at a time. The advice to strive and to not shirk this ambition is wonderful. And the acknowledgement at the end that this struggle will not end, there is just another step waiting, is profound wisdom.

This is a great piece. High marks! I'm glad I received a read request (thank you, Mark--you knew I would love this!).

Very best regards,

Rick

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is amazing! The varied meter, rhyme scheme and rhythm make this reflective, narrative poem fresh and anything but ho-hum. It is brilliant and inspiring! I love it!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Lee
Hey, Andrew...I'm not a poet, so I don't get into the fancy stuff...but this poem contains a ton of inner reflection, good for all of us. I thank you for it...a pause in a time of need...It caused me to recall my grandparents, parents, and older friends who've lived...Very good work, buddy.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Andrew, I am MOST impressed! As has been several times noted, narratives are a difficult medium to pull off, and though there are minor tweaks to syllable count I might recommend, they would add only to the flow, but not improve the readability or the depth of meaning! You're still in High School, so you have probably been exposed fairly recently to Longfellow and Coleridge, whose structure is SO uniform and unvarying that the poems rapidly become plodding and singsong, despite their beauty of content. You have dodged that bullet with interposing several different meters at random intervals, cohesive within themselves, rather than a mere interruption.
More than thirty years ago, I attempted a philosphical narrative, and abandoned it before the second stanza was through, as the weight of the task I had set myself crushed all the potential pleasure of the project right out of me. You have done what I would not do, and done it quite well. Congratulations!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I really, REALLY liked it. Honestly, I wish I could give you some constructive criticism of some sort, but I honestly can't. The last part was my favorite. It was really eye-opening, unique, inspirational. I'm speechless. Fantastic job. :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


First off, sorry it took me so long to get to this... secondly, this is brilliant! I like that you rhyme, but not every part of the poem, it adds to the effect of wise advice. I have always found narratives interesting, and they are difficult to do well. But I think here you have made a great start. The only thing that caught my eye was the fact you only use the word baggage, it's probably what you wanted throughout the piece, but I think you can still convey the meaning with using a synonym once or twice. However... I can see not wanting to put a shape to the "baggage" because each reader might visualize it differently. I personally see a backpack. I like that you don't specify whether this said baggage has 1,2,3,10! straps haha. You never know! And now I'm getting silly... but all that to say... I loved this.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


This is quite beautiful, especially in terms of rhythm, rhyme and meter. I really got into the read; it was quite enjoyable. I also like the imagery, which I think was very fitting and well done. My only suggestion is that it seems a little unfinished, as though i was waiting for a conclusion...of course you said it was "in progress", so that is what I'm assuming you meant. Nicely done.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago



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Added on March 1, 2010
Last Updated on September 21, 2010
Tags: interior, life, journey, story, narrative, tale
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