poetic journeys: great sand dunes

Great Sand Dunes

Touched by your heartsong, I am like
the wayward dunes we found that afternoon near Crestone
that the winds had lifted and somehow
lavished between the mountains and the grasslands.

And you might guess by this, I mean I’m ambivalent,
yet mesmerized, and sometimes resigned. Truth is, I don’t
understand exactly what we’ve become, any more
than sand particles in the drifts understand they are part of
capricious dunes, sketched with gossamer swirls and footprints.

Maybe we’re all that’s left of what we were.
But, walking with you, I want to believe you are a visionary
spirit calling forth lush growth around their parched ripples.

What would you call that feeling when the ridged dunes,
even with their desolate silhouettes, start to dazzle?


Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado | between the grasslands & the Sangre de Cristo Mountains


“POETRY” Invitation:  I invite you to write a poem of any poetic form on your own blog about a particular travel destination.  Or you can write about travel in general. Concentrate on any intention you set for your poetry. In this case, I intended to write an abstract poem about any aspect of my May trip to the Four Corners area.

In this case, my intended abstract poem actually became about something.  It reflects my experience of the Great Sand Dunes, but I won’t elaborate on the actual experience.

An abstract poem is meant to be an experiment with sound; the meaning of the words is secondary.  There are several ways to write abstract poems, according to the The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms:

  1. One is to say a word aloud over and over until it loses its meaning.  Your mind quickly focuses on the sound.  Then you write as quickly as possible whatever words come to you because of their sounds.
  2. Take a poem by you or someone else and change most of the words.  Count the number of nouns in the poem, the number of adjectives and the number of verbs.  Make a list of an equal number of new nouns, adjectives, and verbs – all of which you choose because you like their sound rather than their meaning. Then use your lists to replace the corresponding words in the poem.
  3. Take a poem and remove enough of its words so that the remaining words make no sense but sound good together.

In the case of my poem, I used the #2 method, but as I started to play with it, it became about something, so I dropped my intention to write the abstract poem and let the poem go where it would.

You can either set your own poetic intentions, or use one of the prompts I’ve listed on this page: writing prompts: poetry.  (This page is a work in process).  You can also include photos, of course.

While I’m in Spain walking the Camino de Santiago from August 31 – October 25, and then in Portugal from October 26 – November 6, I kindly request that if you write a poetic piece, please simply link it to the appropriate post, this one or my next one as soon as it publishes.  I will try my best to read your posts while I’m on my journey, but I won’t have a computer or the time or ability to add links to my posts.

My next post will be on Friday, November 2. This will be an ongoing invitation, on the first Friday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!

the ~ wander.essence ~ community

I invite you all to settle in and read a few posts from our wandering community.  I promise, you’ll be inspired!  See below in the comments for any links.

Thanks to all of you who wrote about the call to place. 🙂