The Sunday Whirl, with Wordle 8, was exceptionally challenging this week. The words from the wordle were:  strange, lotus, alluring, stories, kinship, devious, bold, torsos, sleep, enchanting, wish, and inspiring.

As soon as I saw the words, I fixated on ‘lotus,’ as in yoga’s lotus position. It became my theme and my poem began taking shape; however, this was the most difficult yet.

by Mike Patrick

The Sunday Whirl: Wordle 8

This time each year, I make a daunting trek,
to find again a secret place once found
while hiking with a group of college friends,
in Colorado’s cliffs and holy ground.

I’d lost my group in blowing sand upon
a great cliff’s top. I safely crawled along
a path, above a thousand meter drop.
It was a place where only gods belong.

Among the rocks, I found a sheltered notch,
and gratefully sought out the safety there.
Inside, I found a strange and wrinkled man.
With lotus folded legs, he sang in prayer.

In peace, he greeted me and bade me sit
next to his fire, beside a seeping spring.
He whiled away the empty sandstorm hours,
and in a sing-song chant he told me things.

He told alluring stories of a time
when people had a kinship with the land.
In harmony they grew their fields of maize
in fertile fields instead of rocks and sand.

But devious and bold new priest of war,
ripped out the beating hearts of harmless men;
from torsos tied to altars stained in red,
while angering the gods who knew their sin.

The murmur of his voice put me to sleep.
I dreamt enchanting dreams of bygone times;
inspiring me wish for their return,
and ruing mankind’s sins and awful crimes.

When I awoke, the old man was not there.
The fire was all to show he’d ever been.
This year, again, I’ll try to find that notch,
that secret place, and dream with gods again.

This entry was posted in A Wording Whirl of Sundays, Feet, Iambic, Pentameter, Poetry, Religion, Rhyming and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to THE SECRET PLACE

  1. pmwanken says:

    Mike, I like your ability to tell a story through your poems. Something I don’t think of doing…and when I try it, it just doesn’t happen. This wordle was more challenging than some of the others–but you did a great job with it!! ~Paula

  2. Marianne says:

    Love the rhythm in this piece. I have no skill in that area whatsoever but you have made it look effortless. And what a fascinating story you’ve told. This is a very clever response to the wordle!

  3. Mike, this is a perfectly rhythmic, well told tale. The sixth stanza reminds me of some of the Aztec history, I have read about.


  4. vivinfrance says:

    Mike, you live, think and dream in iambics. A wonderful wordle story, so smooth I didn’t notice the wordle words – a true measure of your skill. A word of comfort: you won’t be punished if you leave out one or two words! The poem must be the judge of where and if the given words should be used!

  5. Susannah says:

    I really enjoyed this, you had me hooked with the first two stanzas, they flow so well. I visualised it all and loved the line ‘It was a place where only gods belong.’

    Nice writing. 🙂

  6. Irene says:

    You have great storytelling skills in verse, Mike. I’m so glad you’re participating in the online poet’s craziness.

  7. margo roby says:

    The more I read them the more I like your poetry. You did an amazing job with these words [I found them challenging too]. I forgot the prompt was a wordle and had to go back and look for the words. I particularly like the stanza where the hearts are being ripped out. I’m not usually bloodthirsty, but it is a beautifully written stanza…but then, they all are. Glad I get you in my inbox or I might have missed this.

  8. Donna Kiser says:

    Hi Mike
    I picked up your blog from the Sunday Whirl blog and I love this story, the journey, the imagery and the emotions. Terrific and authentic use of the words.

    I don’t know if you’re like me and like some feedback but you DID mention you don’t like the last line. I think that what is striking you is that it seems to explain–and you definitely don’t need to do that. What if you referred back to something in the beginning? “That daunting trek, a secret place, holy ground”?

    Just a thought.

  9. 1sojournal says:

    Love the story and even more because you bent it around the wordle words. They are always a challenge and rewarding in their own way. Perhaps because many words demand to go their own way whether we care to or not. Maybe why the wordles are so staisying,


  10. I always enjoy poems that take me on an adventure, and this was quite the mystical tale.

  11. brenda w says:

    Great story, Mike. I love your entry this week. Francis is right, it felt like I was on a mystical adventure. Well constructed piece…the rhyme flows beautifully.

  12. TheMsLvh says:

    sounds like an incredible journey. Nice write!

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