"Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn." ~Thomas Gray

"Poetry unites." ~Anon

"Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it." ~Emily Dickinson

Written by K. Lawson Gilbert
She lives in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, USA
Her blog: Old Mossy Moon


I started out life flanked by my
mother’s wild flower garden
and the Kanawha river,
that ran cold and choppy
over the shoals that held
fresh water mussel beds,
ancient in their ruin.

I was captured at an early age,
held prisoner, then protected
by the mountains all around me.

At night, I was lulled to sleep
by the rhythmic clankety-clank
of the coal trains,
pulsing up and down the tracks
- like blood in veins -
keeping the people alive.

Originally published on writer's personal blog.
Posted with consent of the writer.


  1. CLAY said...
    "I was captured at an early age,
    held prisoner, then protected
    by the mountains all around me."

    Ah..to find solace in a former enemy. The mountains. That is a sign of true enlightenment. It is the type of prison time necessary to free one's mind from material bondage.
    christopher said...
    K. - Perfect form, ascending to the mountains, descending away from them. Light one side, dark on the other, the three lines the prison on the pinnacle of the poem that leads to the protection from which you can write.

    And the title tells me spirit flows like blood in veins from this sacred space within you.
    Julie said...
    Oh, this is so beautiful, as is all of your poetry! I love the coal trains, the rhythmic clankety-clank. Yes, the form is excellent and takes us to that protected place in the mountains, that former place of isolation that is now so lovely.

    Thanks so much for sharing it and for all of your beautiful work! Congratulations on a well deserved honor, K!
    Anonymous said...
    so many beautiful lines. love the imagery and sound...

    "Kanawha river,that ran cold and choppy over the shoals.."

    "coal trains,pulsing up and down the tracks - like blood in veins -
    keeping the people alive."

    Catvibe said...
    K, I have to say this is such a beautiful poem, in its imagery and melancholy longing. I loved the last stanza analogy, excellent.
    K.Lawson Gilbert said...
    Clay - Oh, so true. You have a deep understanding of what I tried to convey here with my simple words...many thanks to you, Clay!

    Christopher - I appreciate your keen remarks. I see you have an astute understanding of mountains ...and poetry!! Thank you.

    Julie - high praise indeed coming from one of my favorite poets and one who is so highly regarded by all. Thank you, as always, my friend.

    Carol - I appreciate your highlighting those lines which you found especially appealing. Thank you for your kind comments.

    Catvibe - I value your opinion so much, Cat. You are such a wonderful writer and artist, who lives an aesthetical life!!! I appreciate your comments.
    joaquin carvel said...
    this is amazing progression - birth, growth, life - from the ruin of the mussel beds to the pulsing of industry - told like it is all a small, shining treasure in your pocket. the title is excellent too - all of these icons are brought down from their pedastals of symbolism to a level of intimate familiarity.
    K.Lawson Gilbert said...
    Joaquin - you are so right, it is a shining treasure - the place where I grew up in WV. I thank you for all of your understanding of me - and my poetry. You explain my poems better than I EVER could. Thank you! Blessings, dear friend.

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