Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

            The dog was a beagle named Snoopie, and she was not actually present, the night (on the Appalachian Trail) being a conflation of more than one actual night.  That is why art is better than life!

A Metaphor Glimpsed

The dog shifted in its sleep and sighed

As the fire shifted and popped in its downward slide

To entropy and ash.  The man awoke

Just long enough to see, through sparks and smoke,

Successive layers of leaves and burning stars.


He thought of lightning bugs in Mason jars,

Captured (to be set free again, not to keep)

In years long past, and then went back to sleep,

Wondering if sparks were starlight that the wood

Had caught and now set free again for good.

The leaves were whispering—were they saying, “Yes”?

The smoke knew, but, reluctant to confess,

Maintained its silence and left the man to guess.

 Stars Through the Clouds

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest book from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD


About gandalf30598

Theologian, philosopher, poet, and critic; minister of the Gospel who makes his living by teaching medieval and renaissance literature; dual citizen of Narnia and Middle Earth.

Posted on February 24, 2014, in Donald Williams, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Why is it that the smoke always maintains its silence?
    Your poems from time spent in the Appalachians always move me. Thanks for posting this.

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