Poetry Friday: “The Search”

For today, I thought I’d stick with the more serious tone I had taken with last week’s poem…although this is definitely a little livelier!  Much of my children’s poetry is humourous, but I’ve been working on a collection of poems that deal with inspiration, dreams, and encouragement – and this just sort of popped out of nowhere and almost
poetryfridaybutton-fulllwrote itself. (Yes, I have multiple poetry collection manuscripts I’m writing simultaneously; I figure if one of them gets picked up, at least I’ll have plenty more where that came from!)

Hope you like it. Speaking of ‘more where that came from’…make sure you visit this week’s Poetry Friday hostess, Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe, for the complete, poetic round-up!

“The Search”

I went on a journey
Of faraway places;
Travelled new roads,
Discovered new faces,
Saw the Great Pyramid,
Walked the Great Wall,
Spoke in strange tongues
I barely recall,
Sheltered in catacombs
Rarely explored,
Rode a king’s horses,
Laid down his sword,
Sailed around islands
In tropical climes,
Caught up with pirates,
Paid for their crimes,
Crawled with the sidewinders,
Swam with the rays,
Ran with a cheetah,
Sang with the jays,
Danced with the dolphins,
Scaled rocks with a ram,
Slept with a lion,
Lay with a lamb,
And though there are tales
That are yet to be penned
Still, my adventures
Have come to an end
And I have to concede
Where I may have been wrong…
What I thought had been lost,
Was here all along.

© 2013 Matt Forrest Esenwine

29 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “The Search”

  1. Catherine Johnson

    I love this, Matt! Mixing strong with soft works beautifully. I’m sure you’ll get all your collections published one day.


  2. I loved the way the adventures built…exotic locales, magnificent creatures….and pirates! We read this aloud in class today, Matt ( a snowy, winter day) and my kids asked for me to read it again and again…they wanted to listen to it with their eyes closed. Just to say, you had my sixth graders happily adventuring with smiles on their faces.


    1. Oh, I’m so glad they enjoyed it, Tara! When kids give you a thumbs-up, that’s the best kind of compliment there is! Please let them know they put a smile on my face, as well.


  3. A great poem, Matt. I love the journey of adventures, but most of all, I love the final two lines “What I thought had been lost,/ Was here all along” It’s very comforting.


    1. Thanks, Mary Lee. I wanted to create an epic life for this traveller by including some references that I thought only adults may pick up on:

      Not only is laying down the king’s sword a Buddhist reference, but it also infers that the writer (who lay down the sword) may have been the king himself. By contrast, the lion/lamb reference is obviously a Biblical reference. The fact that the writer paid for pirates’ crimes could be another story all to itself – what happened? How did the writer pay for the crimes? Did the pirates not pay for their own crimes? Did they escape? I also made sure I included animals from the major classes (mammals, fish, birds, reptiles) who are all associated with different environments, such as air, land, and water.

      And the idea that there are still tales to be penned – but not by the writer – infers that, perhaps, the reader may yet go on his/her own adventures! Of course, we all eventually discover what’s most important in our lives…and very often it’s where we started – hence, the end!


  4. Interesting ending, Matt. I expected you to continue your journey indefinitely as the choice of books to read seems unending. So the journey ending was a surprise to me, but a nice riff on contentment and looking for the exotic and wonderful in the life we live.


    1. Ah, but every life’s journey comes to an end, Violet…and I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I deliberately wrote this entire poem as one sentence, to reflect life as one, long adventure! Thank you for your comments!


  5. Hi Matt, this reminds me a little bit of the bluebird of happiness that is singing in one’s own backyard – or some such nugget of wisdom. Absolutely beautiful, Matt. Layers of longing and quiet satisfaction too. 🙂


  6. My favorite lines:
    “Spoke in strange tongues
    I barely recall,
    Sheltered in catacombs
    Rarely explored”

    And yet, “there’s no place like home,” is there? I’m not surprised that Tara’s 6th graders were captivated. Also glad to be so late that I got the benefit of your background!


  7. This poem is one of my favorites now! I love the fluidity and the way it flows. I also love how you compacted everything into one poetic sentence. Though, I don’t understand the ending. What is it that had been lost?


    1. Ah, that’s the part that makes you think, Gloson! What do you suppose the writer was searching for, that was at home all along? Something physical – or something more abstarct/emotional?


  8. Pingback: Reminders of You | Ellice Campbell

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