How My Heart Gets Said

I stop for the view on the horizon,
it’s true, or partly true
every place is a vista
I keep going to.

It’s true, or partly true
I can’t tell how far I’ve gone
and I keep going, too
no one’s on this path.

I can’t tell how far I’ve gone
through these cedars, maples,
no one’s on this path,
no openings, no cut throughs

through these cedars, maples.
Sometimes the only way is the only way.
No openings, no cuts throughs
I can never go back the way I came—

sometimes the only way is the only way,
I stop for the view—the horizon
I can never go back to. The way I came
every place is a vista.



Click here to read Alexis Ivy on the origin of the poem.

Image: by Thomas Münter, licensed under CC 2.0.

Alexis Ivy:

The poem started as a whole can-you-believe-it story about realizing the path I was on wasn’t a loop and running into some bulls while hiking a mogote in Vinales, Cuba. After writing that version of the poem I realized who cares about what really happened, the heart of the poem was in the language I had written– a metaphor for living and for writing. I took the story out and ran with the essence of the poem– how wherever I looked I felt changed, not knowing if the path was a loop I was unclear whether I was getting closer or farther from a destination. This poem became a pantoum because the form is an interwoven loop showing the experience I had wandering in this landscape. This form gave me a metaphorical way to enter the experience and to find the heart of the poem I was writing.

Alexis Ivy
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