If I Follow the Wandering Poet


If I Follow the Wandering Poet

Who cares
if I swim naked in my pool?
All other human occupants
have left this neighborhood behind,
leaving more room
for possums, skunks,
birds, scorpions, spiders
and me.

I keep a closer company with them
than I do with any human these days.
This week, I talk to the large caterpillar
who seems to sprout two crystals from his crown
as he sits for a day on the Olmec head
that guards my swimming pool.

Back and forth, back and forth I pass,
adding a look at him to my lap routine.
For one long afternoon,
he sits still—like Alice’s caterpillar,
but hookah-less,
meditating in this grey place.

If he were on my Virginia Creeper,

I’d be repositioning him
to the empty lot next door, but here
he seems to be a guest; and so some etiquette
keeps me from altering his placement
as he sits on stone, moving his suction cups in sequence
now and then only to alter his direction, not his territory.

Perhaps I’ve stayed too long
in this one place.
That wandering poet within me
may have somewhere it thinks I need to go.
If it creates a good alternative, 
I might follow in much the same way
that I have come to this point
in my poem.
Blindly, in a maze of words,
open to what comes next.

The prompt word today wasmaze.” This is an extensive rewrite of a poem written three years ago.

13 thoughts on “If I Follow the Wandering Poet

    1. lifelessons Post author

      I didn’t know that poem so looked it up. It does have a similar message. I wonder if R. Frost would be as happy being compared to me as I am being compared to him? Ha. I did write a parody of his “Mending Wall” entitled “Mending Pants.” He might not be amused. You can find it on my blog by doing a search if you are curious.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. lifelessons Post author

      He really did look like he as following my progress as I did laps, waving his head left and right.. And it was so uncharacteristic for him to be on that bare stone sculpture instead of the Virginia creeper vine on the other side of the pool and patio.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. lifelessons Post author

          I’ll take my audiences where I may find them. I’m always curious about just how aware of the world around them different animals and insects are. If I had the faculty of esp, I wouldn’t waste it on humans. I’d go out and see what different elements of nature are thinking about!

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Sunday Share: That is Some Crazy Caterpillar! – transcribingmemory

  2. Allenda

    Fascinating creature, and the caterpillar, too! The jewels in his crown are spectacular, as are yours. I wish among the sounds you hear from next door were laughter, Pabu barking at the bats at night, the clatter of Mexican train tiles being dumped from their tin train box onto the equipale table and the enquiring voices calling over the wall,”Judy, are you home?”. It was so easy to call out rather than pick up the phone. If the poet should chance to Covemont Dr., the pool water is warm, birds are flocking to this sanctuary, and, yes, we do have insects, though none to rival those of Mexico. Mi Casa es su Casa.



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