Today I'd like to introduce you to poet Donn Taylor. Donn is a former college English professor, author, and a regular speaker at Christian writing conferences. He is on a mission to bring poetry back to our culture. I love the way he uses sound and humor in his poems, and I had a hard time choosing one today, but since I spent all last week learning about postmodernism, I chose a powerful poem that really spoke to me. We've come a long way from the Victorian Era, people.
The Lost Ones
Here in the oasis it's hard to visualize
That place the lost ones name Utopia,
Created by their choices day by day,
And by their definitions to become
The optimum of human habitation.
Truth, they say, is not inherited,
A thing already there that needs discovering
Through diligent research and reasoning.
They say that truth is "socially constructed,"
Which means they make it up along the way.
Grant them heroic effort to construct
Reality as they think it ought to be.
Grieving, we watch them wander there outside.
How strange it is to watch them eat the sand
And call it nourishment, or drink their own
Ideas, defining them as water--strange to see
Their search through stones for spirituality.
We didn't make the oasis: we found it here,
Fully created, all its terms defined
Within the boudaries of the Decalogue--
We'd only to discover and enjoy.
We beckon, but they turn their eyes away,
Defining oases as superstition,
Preferring barren paths of sand and stone,
Seeking through alchemy, defining dross as gold,
Circling forever in the deserts of the soul.
Copyright 2008 Dust and Diamond
Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he completed a PhD degree at The University of Texas and taught English literature at two liberal arts colleges. He and his wife live near Houston, Texas, where he writes fiction, poetry, and articles on current topics.
To order Dust and Diamond from Amazon.com click here.
For more information about Donn, his poetry, and his novels click here.
Okay, Dina here, allow me to play college literature teacher for a minute. I'm out of practice, and I miss it. What images do you see in this poem? What do the images bring to mind? What do you think the author is trying to say through the poem? Do you relate in any way?