18 September 2014

To Travel Well

If you want to travel well
you must be prepared to lose things
to lose the certitude of best ways to do things
or right ways or that anyone can know such treachery

to lose the sense of one place as the center 
holding answers for all the world
or that one language can best capture thought
so all others should wrap their tongues around right words

to lose the belief that one religion outranks others
that other beliefs are strange, misguided, unenlightened
or that one culture reigns supreme, the final answer
with keys to unlock all mysteries

if you want to travel well 
you must be prepared to gain things
to gain certitude of best as cumulative
that right energy can be forged collaboratively

to gain ardor that our world is vast and central
and needs protection so answers can be discovered in alliance
that each language builds in a unique world view
not to be neglected even if we choose a common language

to gain the belief that religion's role is to point toward the holy
and that we're all holy within a holy world superceding dogma
that each culture takes its place in the scheme of things as one piece
of the whole which together can shed light on all mysteries

to travel well one must be prepared to be ambushed
by the beauty that awaits day after day
to grow tender toward the children of each place
as they play and meet strangers and live in sometimes unimaginable 

circumstances and call it home yet stay open to travelers
ready to lose separateness and gain oneness and be our teachers in this 
it takes a fearlessness, this traveling, an open heartedness
that stands ready to call sister, to call brother, to say yes.

In response to Poetics: Travel Poetry prompt by Gabriella at dVerse Poets Pub although I missed the deadline and for Grapeling's Get Listed- September with words from "The Art of War" over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads. I used capture, neglected, ardor, energy, alliance, treachery and scheme.


  1. "Ready to call sister, brother "... That sentiment among your many wise words roll out a way for true world peace. It's as simple as that. Lively write.

  2. Mary, I would say that this is a recipe for living. We all lose and gain things as we travel. Very inspiring! (I will link you into dVerse..nice to see you)

  3. This is really an exposition on openness of all kinds--but it is so right on in terms of travel--without that openness one is only frustrated and mad at difference. I especially liked the stanza about being open to children. k .

    1. And see that all children are our children. All.

  4. I am glad Mary linked your poem into dVerse as it reflects what I believe about traveling. If we travel with an open mind, we will be changed by the experience. We will certainly lose some certitudes but also be enriched in many other ways.

    1. I liked your prompt but it took me longer to try to express all that travel has meant to me, how it has enriched me.

  5. This is an absolutely beautiful, wise and spiritual poem, Mary. Thank you for the truths it contains.

    1. Thanks, Hedge, I was glad to have the chance to put down what I've come to believe along the way, that we are one. If only we could behave as such.

  6. I love the idea of being ambushed by beauty, and the open-heartedness of traveling, "ready to call sister, to call brother, to say yes." Beautiful!

  7. Yes, being ambushed by beauty, is such a beautiful expression. I recently took a short trip and I experienced that very thing on moonlit walks on the beach.

    1. Travel let's us store so many moments like this to re-tell and enjoy again later.

  8. Replies
    1. We learn some things along the way if we pay attention.


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