Posted by: John Looker | 18 December, 2014

Walking Alone

Walking Alone

A mountain scene:
below the snow line certainly,
but high on the green slopes where the blue sky
whispers, if you’re listening, of eternity. 

Strange how the mind works
when you’re walking. It wanders about, pausing,
moving on, covering the ground of familiar thoughts,
like goats grazing. 

Not having wings
and having no notion
of flight, it helps to be very sure-footed.
That, and short on imagination.


© John Looker 2014


  1. Fantastic. Love it x


    • Thank you Alice. I can see you on that mountain!


  2. A strange, wonderful poem. The ambulatory (loose) rhythms, within a pattern of short and long, the X-Y high/low rhetoric, suggests the mind adjusting to the terrain with its changes. That is, the mind is not allowed its own rhythms; it is tied to the earth. So the initial strong image – listening to eternity — becomes a sort of negative space; there’s almost a wistfulness about this meandering–and that seems true to human nature! Only with the last line is that dissatisfaction given free reign. It may not be too much to think of this as touching on the great image of Samuel Johnson, with all his repressed Romanticism, walking, walking, walking, his huge frame and myopia somehow making him more like an animal of the byways rather than the pre-eminent man of letters he was.


    • I would not have thought of Samuel J in this context, Tom (maybe the poem is set in the Scottish Highlands!) but I like that image – as I do also your remarks on the form of the poem (form always interests me greatly in a poem). Ambulatory rhythms – perfect. I am grateful to you.


  3. Such a pleasant scene you set….a verdant mountainside, a blue sky whispering eternity, a lone, pensive walker, a metaphorical goat…and then BANG!…that last line!
    I walk back to the beginning of the poem and notice, now, that the sky whispers IF you listen and the thoughts seem restricted to familiar ground. The metaphorical goat (maybe chewing its cud), being sure-footed, is unlikely to stumble, err or fail—not only is it without wings, but it has NO NOTION of wings…..good thing, too, or it might not be so sure-footed. Beautifully ironical ending, John..a nice surprise!


    • I am delighted that you liked it Cynthia and thought it worthwhile reading over. Thank you.


  4. John, I loved the depth of thought and mountain scene you created with this poem. It bought back memories of living in Colorado and hiking in the mountains above the tree line. No goats but plenty of Big Horn sheep.They did not like sharing the trail with a hiker. Merry Christmas…….


    • Merry Christmas to you too, Donald, and thank you for mentioning those memories here. Very interesting!


  5. Beautiful poem! A pleasure to read. I am one who loves to walk…and I loved this “walk”, John.


    • Thanks Anna. It’s always nice to hear from you.


  6. wonderful! my mind is most definitely like goats grazing quite often – what a perfect descriptor 🙂 kudos!


  7. Thank you Sarah. I believe your mind is much more focused than you pretend!.


  8. Excellent John. Really like the loose rhyming formation.


  9. Thank you — it’s good to hear from you.


  10. 😀


  11. I love it… Particularly its poetic corollary.
    All the best to you~ Aquileana 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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