Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Pardee Lowe, Jr.


When I was young
And poems were strange
I ventured to inquire
How, poet, do words upon the page catch fire?
Write, then, write, came the reply,
And some day you will know.

And so through the years, now,
I have written 
Poems both large and small,
And in the writing quite forgot
The quest that first inspired them all.
Then, just the other day a lad
Struck the self-same theme;
And as that mentor long ago
I countered with the rheme
Write, then write! I replied
And some day you will see
But in the saying I perceived
The answer long desired,
From upwellings of the soul alone
Are such words inspired.
I write the poem? How vain the thought—
Indeed, the poem wrote me.


Poetry in Motion

Words on foolscap: some moved,
Others stood stock still
Yet drew the eye beyond the page
To realms between the lines
Where space means more than letters— 
Hugging the hidden meaning of the world.

Affirmation Before the Mirror

I didn’t realize—

You were a pretty amazing guy
Hid beneath the skin
You’ve worn these many years.

When did this insight dawn?

Well not dawn exactly,
But rather percolate
Through the trunk of your being,
Out of recesses you didn’t know you had:
Like the ballroom dancing from your feet,
The photographs from your eye.
Like these words from your mind.

So the awareness has come—

And behold, it is good!

I’m Just Me

I’m just me.
Oh! I tried to be someone else.
But in the end, I’m just me.
Lucky! But I did.
And if you did, 
Did you ever look at those someone elses later
And ask, how could I have . . . ?
I think finding me takes a while.
Maybe a whole lifetime.
Glad I did it before the end.


Pardee Lowe, Jr. holds a PhD in German and Ancient Icelandic from UC, Berkeley. He is a poet, sage, and wit from Falls Church, VA. His themes are Nature, Humankind, and the Spirit. His spiritual life is nourished by Quaker meeting and the 1968 Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.

Pardee’s books include Seasons of the Soul (2017) and Openings: Messages in Poetry from Quaker Worship (2021), from Quaker Heron Press; his latest collection, Aging, is forthcoming. His poetry also appears in “Front Porch,” NoVA BARDS Anthologies,” “One Art,” and “Trouvaille Review.” 

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