a poet is a pilgrim
on a challenging journey
of incredible length
who…at any time could
give up the quest
lie down
say “I quit”
and cease to be a pilgrim

at the beginning of
the pilgrimage
with home so close behind
and the goal barely
a whisper
of a promise
borne on an almost
imperceptible breeze
the temptation is there
to say “I’m a fraud
of a pilgrim,
and I should turn back now
to the comforts of home”

but as one step
leads to another,
and the miles drop behind…
although the destination
seems no closer (If
indeed, the journey
even has an end)
it becomes, somehow,
easier to accept the title
of pilgrim

I have walked enough steps
that I’m willing, now,
to embrace the title of
no longer feeling that
my words are fraudulent
but I know
that as a poet…
…as a pilgrim
I have a long way to go…
…before I ever arrive
and truth be told
I’ve come to believe that
the journey is the destination…
the destination is the journey

and if I, as poet,
ever think that I’ve truly “arrived”
it’s at that point
that I’ve stepped off the path
and failed to be
a pilgrim

each step, then,
is the destination…
but each destination leads
to another step.


written on Mar.23 as an expression of how I feel that I have changed since starting on my poetic pilgrimage.  Shared with dVerse Open Link Night on Mar.26


26 thoughts on “Pilgrimage

  1. This is so true.. First it I agree you have to be a pilgrim before you become a poet, but you cannot remain a poet if you’re not a pilgrim… It took me quite a while to call myself a poet too.. I’m glad for you Bryan…

  2. I enjoyed this. I think that we all are in the process of arriving as a poet. We never reach the destination, but perhaps our path becomes more clear. And yes, you ARE a poet.

  3. honestly… i hope that i never arrive… it’s good to be on that journey – to discover – to try new things – to stay curious… what an adventure…eh?

  4. An intriguing thought; if asked are you a poet, one can counter with, “I am but a pilgrim on a poetic adventure; vulnerable, pliable, malleable, as formless as swamp gas yet solid as quartz, different today from last week, a cipher, a conduit, lips, a voice made up of many voices.” OK, Bryan, you have started something now.

  5. Yes, it’s a pilgrimage with an unreachable destination. The ending couplet from one of my first poems, “Seeker”:

    “Seeking the unfindable is a curlycue goal, but a worthy one nevertheless
    The world is a tapestry knit for the bold, on a journey reserved for the blessed”

  6. I could very much relate to this. I’ve also changed, sometimes improved, sometimes not, as a poet since I started this journey. Thanks for sharing your journey and your destination. (Sorry if that was redundant.) Peace, Linda

  7. I am so glad to be on this journey with other pilgrims like you. I follow behind your path and enjoy seeing where it leads you. You truly are a poet and everything I read just gets better and better. You can’t seem me but I am standing bowing deeply to your poem and your art.

    • and I, in turn, am deeply in awe of some of your works too. Perhaps that is one of the great things about this pilgrimage…that we can walk side by side at times, lead at others, and also follow each other at times. We each have things to learn, and things to teach. I think that we can both bow deeply and equally to each other. Thank you!

  8. Every step you take on your poetic journey creates something to behold….such as this piece!
    I truly enjoy your poetry, Bryan. Not sure why I have not already pushed the “follow” button since I have always looked forward to your work in dVerse. Ok…done!! 🙂

  9. “and if I, as poet,
    ever think that I’ve truly “arrived”
    it’s at that point
    that I’ve stepped off the path
    and failed to be
    a pilgrim

    each step, then,
    is the destination…
    but each destination leads
    to another step.”

    True words, there. What a great poem. Thank you for sharing something all of us can relate to.

  10. Great human thoughts and emotions – you’re really opening up here Bryan… Going through life (whatever life is) brings us through so many trials and tribulations, so many judgements and crossroads…. in such an amazing way you put all of that into words and described what we poets are…….. we are different. Really cool poet’s poem…

  11. You have captured the experience and feelings beautifully….it does feel so fraudulent at first and takes a long time to feel as though one is a ‘poet’ in this journey. Lovely description and so relatable, Bryan 🙂

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