Finally there is only the outside:
Wind, ants, dust, unknown blue flowers
Cloud formations, distant cliffs—
The rest are walls keeping in the heat
Where words linger and footsteps end.
Only these views triumph over the limits
Of space that mark where we surrender,
Out here canyons draw the lines we
Must heed as we traverse the land.
Out here small sounds make up the days
And no sounds the nights, light colors
Itself extravagantly for nothing, the air
Smells as it will, morning mists
Swallow whole volumes of ideas.
Out here there is only yourself.
Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry. Over 170 of her poems appear in dozens of online venues and in anthologies. The natural world is generally her framework; she often focuses on the tension between nature and humanity, using concrete images to illuminate the loss of meaning between them. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.