Copyright © Gloria Alden. All rights reserved.
When Robert Frost was once asked to define what poetry is, he gave a flip answer. "Poetry is the kind of thing poets write." Poetry can only be defined by each individual and what it means to them. For me, poetry is like music without the melody. Rhymed or unrhymed, it has meter and rhythm that speaks to me as much as the message conveyed.
Although I'd read and written some poetry over the years, it wasn't until I entered college in my early forties and took my first English class that I became hooked on reading and writing poetry.
Many of my ideas come to me on daily walks in the woods in all seasons. That's why so much of my poetry has some theme connected with nature, but just as many have been written about my son, John, and deal with my grief over his death from cancer. When I was sixty, I took up backpacking and loved it. John had backpacked as a Boy Scout and dreamed of moving to mountains in the west. The following poem is one for my son that won a poetry contest.
Our Last Hike
As we hiked together that rocky trail
your pack grew heavier.
I wanted to take your burden,
But we're each assigned our own packs.
So we climbed on
your pack filled with pain
and mine filled with sorrow
until the fog lifted a moment
to show another trail branching off.
You smiled, dropped your pack
and stepping lightly went down that trail
without a backward glance.
I watched you radiant
in October's golden sunshine
until you were out of sight.
Then I hoisted my pack
grown heavier with grief and trudged on
climbing a trail much rockier