April 22

Dusty boots have been my best friends
Taking me where I’ve been and where I’ve dreamed.
Across destiny’s bitter hills again and again,
Ancient lakes, morning’s snowbound trails, frozen streams.
Far, shining Alpine peaks, out of my reach,
Layers of clay, bright-colored, time-kissed,
The tracks of dinosaurs on a rock-hard beach,
Juniper bushes, scorpions and mist.
Through time, disaster or inspiration,
Tree-held or wasted, sage scrub and forest,
Sand and shore, wild lilac, golden aspen,
Sorrow or hope, the yearning heart rests.
Where my eyes point, squint, captured by color,
Summits or dreams, one foot, then the other

The poem is a Shakespearean sonnet, though I’m not a fetishist about iambic pentameter since it’s the natural rhythm of the English language anyway. Iambic pentameter is ba-BOOM, ba-BOOM for ten syllables. A Shakespearean sonnet is 14 lines with the scheme of ababcdcdefefgg. It’s easy for a dyslexic person like me who’s likely to mess up the rhyme scheme if it has too many variables. The story is that Shakespeare wrote his sonnets like this because the traditional Italian sonnet (the Petrarchan sonnet) is immensely challenging in English because of the natural rhythm of English vs. the natural rhythm of Italian. I don’t know if this is true or not but I’m buying it anyway.

20 thoughts on “April 22

  1. Verse from a song I wrote years ago:

    Had these boots a mighty long time
    Sometimes ahead, sometimes behind
    Tappin’ on floors all over town
    The leather’s still good, but the heels are down

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