madpen's journal

Words from the Lonely Road (Circa Fall 2011)

I was on the verge of dropping out of school and losing my 12-month scholarship from the Chinese government when I wrote the foundations for this poem. I was living in western China and was unhappy with the direction my life was going, sick of China’s pollution, and very unsure of the future. I did end up dropping out after 2 months. They revoked my visa and gave me 30 days to leave the country. I then looked for shelter, solace and guidance from friends in Beijing and Hong Kong before going to work at a Buddhist commune in northern Thailand.

When you feel most lost at sea
Thrown by waves of doubt and spun by gusts of fate,
Deprived of hope’s warm gaze by sullen clouds
Take the opportunity to reach and retie those loosened knots that secure you to your mooring
Appreciate each twist, loop, and thread,
Feel those fibers that hold you fast to the cleat: family and friends
For they’re strong enough to steady you
Through any storm

And if you find the world grows too large
If you can no longer clasp your hands around all that you know
And bits and pieces of your life slip through your weary fingers
Take a moment to reassess what’s important – what really matters
For your capacity to attend to those few people and things you truly love
Is limitless

And if the road ahead darkens, slow down, pause, do not carry on blind,
Turn to recapture light from your past –the candles of experience and learning–
Feel the warmth as you gather them to your chest
And refocus their rays to guide your steps ahead
For knowledge is the brightest torch we have
To illuminate our shrouded future


2 comments on “Words from the Lonely Road (Circa Fall 2011)

  1. Greg Van De Mark
    September 30, 2012

    Pearls of wisdom.

  2. edward adams
    September 30, 2012

    Hi Charles, Hey,Your poem was great. I really enjoyed it . Some good thoughts. Hope things are going well and you have gotten over the ‘bug’ or whatever it was you brought up to Vermont. Would you send me your NY address. I got some info from another “water” outfit that I thought that you might like to see. Love,Grandpop

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This entry was posted on September 29, 2012 by in Poetry and tagged , , , .
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