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I have walked the wooded ways
since I was the merest child
through winter's clear and summer's haze
and often thought myself quite wild.

These lands were easily understood,
for wild places have no politics
so time was spent there when I could
as life's candles consumed their wicks.

In times of both deep joy and sorrow
peace always waited for me there
and helped me face the next tomorrow,
relieving any stress or care.

Even now as legs and age betray me
I still trudge through these lonely places.
I limp from stump to fallen tree
where I rest as time and the sun races

Too soon the day is bound to come
when fallen leaves won't feel my tread
and I won't hear wood peckers' drum
nor find another antler shed.

There's little reason to pretend
that I'll soon lose this life long race.
When my time here comes to its end
I'll walk a wilderness beyond this place.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


rolling along quite well with the rhythm up until the next to last verse and then I fell over the sudden change of rhyme to free-form and couldn't get up! LOL You know that I always enjoy your work, but I'm wondering if you haven't been working too hard or something! [3d verse first line, you missed putting an en in [In]. I am fortunate enough to still have many of the woods that I enjoyed as a kid, still in existence, because they are on a steep hillside and not really viable for development, but there are a great deal of others that only exist in my memories. You bring them back to me all the time! thanks, ~ Gee

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I really didn't notice the pattern change lol. I'll get this taken care of pretty soon and thanks for pointing it out. As a young child my venture occurred mainly along the Mississippi watershed and I've been gone from there so long that I have no ideas what changes have come there. But since age 12 I've been here in the carolina foothills and piedmont and many of the places I used to roam are now sub divisions and shopping centers.....good for business but dismaying for folks like me.......stan

author comment

that you lost the rhyme in the second to last verse, Stan?
Good meter in general, a little choppy in only a couple of places.
But I wouldn't say that this is one of your better writes - it's a bit tame really... trying to figure why ... it could be too introspective, not your usual great descriptive... not sure

Love judy

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

As I told Gee I didn't catch the rhyme pattern change for some reason. Now there Are times when I intentional change pattern to add emphasis but this ain't one lol. I'll get this taken care of pretty soon and see if I can inject a bit more oomph at the same time. Always nice to see a meter maid not intent on handing out tickets lol.........stan

author comment

Other than the two "flaws" (couldn't think of a better word that describes them) this is yet another excellent "pastoral" piece to add to our collection.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

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I did a bit of editing but still not completely happy with this one. I hope over time to have this one evolve into something better.....stan

author comment

You are lucky to have one apparently close to home. Wilderness means to me wild, primal, perhaps only a path to follow by an occasional arrow or spay painted spot on a tree...I am lucky too, I have found a few spots of a private wilderness very close, in Washington DC, miraculously enough.
I particularly like the first 3 stanzas. the wilderness has purpose and presence.

Then the ageing comes in, emotionally I'm let down...your spirit will leave this place, you will not be connected to this wilderness in a somewhat fatalistic look at the future...that you will "walk in paths beyond this place"... but the poem is telling me you are part of that wilderness, since a child. It is there I feel you may be walking when your time ends, which we certainly hope, and assume, is an abstraction due to the oncoming of aging.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

Always good to see you've dropped by. when written I was living on a 1.3 acre lot in a rural subdivision. But since late childhood wild places have always been fairl close. and a place doesn't have to be miles across to be wild. I've found spots where people seldom if ever go on tracts of land as small as 20 acres............stan

author comment
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