The marcher stumbles

How do you travel
from that tie-dyed tent city
of 1986, pegged and jogged
across a continent
for peace

to now, your pulse threaded green
on a heart monitor
reassuring us
you did not fall

not yet.

The answer is
the walk is on foot,
slow, an almost
unmeasureable beat
between steps until we look back
to see the stretch, the span
of what was walked,



About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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56 Responses to The marcher stumbles

  1. bussokuseki says:

    Beautiful, Susan, so heartfelt. Thank you, be well~

  2. brian miller says:

    time catches us all…even those that flow to the easy rhythm of life…or the most fit…that would be some run…but time is def the great equalizer….

  3. really nicely written. love the lead up to in that final stanza, then time. standing by itself. Really effective. Thanks

  4. This is fantastic, but then all your poetry is…I am constantly amazed not only by your mastery of the craft of writing, but by the diversity and depth of the topics you write about. Applause!!! 🙂

  5. janehewey says:

    your opening stanza is strong with specifics-not only the date but words like : pegged and jogged. your last stanza stretches out and makes it long, as I think the subject lends itself to length… T I M E. Also, I think “heart monitor” is somewhat of an anchor for your poem. great write, Susan.

    • Jane–thank you–I think you are right, because on another read, that monitor seems to suggest itself in the penultimate stanza. Funny, I didn’t see that when I wrote it.

  6. Trent Lewin says:

    Well done Susan, felt very personal. And true.

    • Thanks, Trent. My best guy friend (the peace marcher here) is in the ICU after bypass surgery. Crap. He’s 47. Does not get much more personal than that. Sigh. Glad you liked this.

  7. Mary says:

    Ah yes, this resonates with me. I think at a certain point in life we all look back and see how far we traveled; and then in the present we think to ourselves….’it has all come to this.’ And it does, for each of us, at some point. Not easy….but at least (hopefully) we will know that we lived and made a difference!

  8. This piece of poetry brought tears to my eyes. At the end all is about time.

  9. Laurie Kolp says:

    This says so much. It’s almost as if the person is reflecting on a loved one’s life… how it goes so fast, from vibrant to sickly. Very touching, Susan.

  10. This is lovely Susan ~ I like the walk and look back in time, a great healer ~

  11. Realism at its best, time is marched that’s for sure, and it catches up suddenly. This does resonate, once I played so much sport, now time has me paying for all that fun, walking into the future is now somewhat of a limpy waddle! 🙂 I do hope your friend recovers fully from his surgery to march on well into the future.

  12. aprille says:

    musical intelligence runs through these lines, weaving a story that spans time and emotion.

  13. nelle says:

    Yes. And in my head (for the rest of the night, and possibly in sleep)…

  14. cloudfactor5 says:

    I’ve spent time in a “tie-dyed tent city” and it was a hell of a blast !!! Vermont Rainbow gathering “91” !! for a few precious days we almost had the biggest city in the state ( in the woods ) filled with people camping !!

  15. hypercryptical says:

    Beautiful heartfelt words Susan. I have read it several times and really cannot think of the right words to say – you do have a mastery of putting your thoughts into the most wonderful words. (Still not really what I want say.)
    Anna :o]

  16. Ravenblack says:

    Wonderful to read. A reflection, meaningfulness on the road traveled and the road is both in dimension of space and time it seems. The emotions held in nice control, comes through the lines nicely.

  17. Alice Keys says:

    My thoughts are with you and your friend for his recovery. Very nice poem.

  18. Poet Laundry says:

    This is great. Loved that ending!

  19. Powerful poem. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about time and how we’re all bound to its ways.

  20. Ursa Bowers says:

    This is so powerful, and so beautiful, but mostly hear-wrenchingly sad. You show a lot of restraint here, making the poem more meaningful through your careful choices than it would have been with overt melodrama. I can’t say how much I admire your ability to write a poem of so thoughtful and stark, when the tragedy at its center is so personal. I hope your friend recovers well, and soon ❤

  21. claudia says:

    i like the looking back here..dunno but to me this speaks of a start out with much idealism and then realizing it is a slow march, maybe lots of doubts on the way as things don’t change like he expected when starting out but realizing, things DID change and it’s worth it..

    • Oh, I love that take, Claudia. Not my intention, but I can see it so clearly there. That’s what I love about writing–how it can mean something else to readers that the writer misses in the crafting.

  22. Sabio Lantz says:

    ah, “time” and green lines on monitors where last images lie to us. Nicely done.

  23. JodetteP says:

    Lovely poem ❤ It's so heartfelt and honest, I'm deeply moved…

  24. kkkkaty1 says:

    …deep feelings here…like very much 😉

  25. Getting out in front and looking back. What a view. Your images tie together so well, giving us perspective on time and the people we shared it with.

  26. Tony says:

    Life is so unpredictable. I can sense your confusion … How could this happen? Clearly a heartfelt and personal piece of writing. I hope and pray that things turn out well…

  27. heidi says:

    This is heartbreaking and such a wonderful use of a short form.

  28. Beautifully written, Susan 🙂

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