My Community Song

The Lens Artists Photo Challenge this week is “Around the Neighborhood”…


We met a man who’d set up camp
along the Yalaboosha River.
He’d come all the way from China
to see how foreign lands compare.
He was a quiet sort of fella,
Not much for talkin’ small.
But when he talked about that river
his words grew ten feet tall.

“I was in the neighborhood,
I was only driving through.
But I saw these gentle giants
wading out into the blue.
They swam like graceful swans.
They floated like with sails.
And I was pulled into their wake
like a panda to bamboo.
We have fish as big as buses
that drive our shipping lanes,
and jagged rocks
like city blocks
strewn all about our seas.
But I’ve never in my life
seen anything quite like the beauty
of these swimming trees.”


We met a man who’d just begun
a life of living on the road.
His wife was showing early signs
of the forgetfulness disease.
She had started feeling nervous
when she was left alone,
so he quit his job, put up the house,
and sold everything they owned.

He said,
“We were in the neighborhood,
we were only driving through.
But my wife saw a field of gold
and I felt a tug of déjà vu.
She used to tend a garden.
She nursed it every day.
And when she saw those blazing flowers
she was the woman I once knew.
There are days of cherished moments
when I catch a glimpse of her.
And good days when
she’s who she’s been
before oblivion resumes.
But it’s been a while since
she smiled the way she did when she
saw those yellow blooms.”


We met a couple heading West
to winter in the desert lands.
A White Zulu and a flower child,
they both felt a bit displaced.
They redid an old caravan
in a novelty sixties theme.
And drank cups of rooibos tea
with ouma rusks and clotted cream.

He said,
“We were in the neighborhood,
we were only driving through.
But we saw this land in a shroud of white
like a wedding day of the Hutu.
The clouds rolled with bellies full
and cast a winter gloom,
with a glimpse of warmer days to come
in the hint of a sun-kissed hue.
We have winters in the summer
that are mostly dry and cool.
Some snow sneaks
up to the peaks
but it’s certainly not the norm.
Your snow is kiff my bru!
And we can’t wait to have a jol
in a real live winter storm!”


We met a mom who’d brought her son
to Cochiti Pueblo lands.
Her son had just returned from war
to fight battles in his mind.
He kept mostly to himself
and stayed confined within his tent.
He didn’t want to talk about his time
or the trials he underwent.

His mom said,
“We were in the neighborhood,
we were only driving through.
When we saw these purple majesties
and my son had life anew.
He proved himself a hero
for this country that he loves,
and when he sees the beauty of this land
it makes that song ring true.
I worry that he spends time alone
with his feelings closed inside.
He loses sight
of why we fight
and he feels the need to roam.
But I catch him gazing
at those peaks and I know
they’ve brought him home.”


My neighborhood’s unusual.
It’s a moveable feast.
No borders to define it,
No houses to be leased.
My neighborhood
is a community
bound only to the land.
Where moments of healing
and moments of awe
will always be unplanned.
Where people live together
while traveling apart.
And temporary bonds
live forever in the heart.


The Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge is a moveable challenge. Click here to learn how you can join the fun!

© 2019 Lindsay Sears @ All Rights Reserved


20 thoughts on “My Community Song

Add yours

  1. Beautiful song and sentiment my love- (he typed through teary eyes.) it is so very internationally touching and sweet and at the same time so very intimate. I absolutely love this.

  2. This poem should be published in an anthology of travel writings, Lindsay. It’s wonderful. In your perfectly crafted verses you give a great and poignant insight into the kaleidoscope of people who travel the distant lands, and the wide and varied reasons why they set off into the great unknown. You are lucky to find such interesting people with touching and rich stories within your ever-changing community – even if they are only passing through. It’s easy to see why the time you are with them will stay on with you forever. Thank you for showing us another life, and an infinitely satisfying one.

    1. Alli… I wish I had the perfect words to thank you for that amazing comment! I am so grateful to you for always taking the time to read as well as taking time to respond so thoughtfully. It’s funny, we set out to find isolation. But when I considered this challenge and the what the idea of a neighborhood means to us, my mind immediately went to the people we’ve shared moments with along the way. I do feel very lucky, so I glad that came through! Thank you so much! (And ‘kaleidoscope of people’ – that’s nice! 🙂

      1. Oh, it came through alright – in spades. I honestly felt quite choked reading your song. I thoroughly enjoy your posts, so believe me, reading them and responding is no hardship at all. Thank you for writing such excellent pieces. 🙂

  3. Wow – this is the kind of read that leaves me quiet and still in soak up mode so my reply will
    Leave it at that.
    Absolutely wonderful ⛺️🏕🌲🌳

    1. I was so taken by your response, I must have accidentally hit the trash button and lost it for a minute. Yikes! Crisis averted, though. Found it. I love your response. Thank you. I cherish these stories, and I was excited to share them. They feel like children, you know – these stories. So it’s nice to nudge them out into the world and have them well-received. 🙂

      1. I was so enriched last night after I decompressed after a long week… (it was my Friday and we had guests here Saturday Sunday and Monday – awesome but overstimulated) and so my hour in blogosphere with some tea was wonderful and two of your posts were a big part of that.
        Have you ever hear of the chidkren’s book called Old Henry? Well that book came to mind because of the writing style. And this post reminded me of another author but cannot put my finger on it. But your writing is also “all you” and that is part of the enrichment.

      2. I hadn’t heard of Old Henry. But I did look it up and I’d like to. I’m a big children’s/YA lit lover. And would love to write some myself. Thank you for being so generous with your down time and with your thoughts.

  4. A moveable feast – a glorious poem, and a bit sad, but filled with wonder. Thank you for being there, noticing and writing. Amazing.

    1. Thank you so much for reading it! And thank you for your response. I’m very grateful to hear from you and am very happy to have the chance to share the neighborhood I love!

  5. You really raised the bar with this one.👏👏
    P.s. I deleted your comments on the flood, nothing personal, I had accidently re blogged it, and had to delete one, I hope you read my response. Sorry!

    1. Thank you. It’s funny how a challenge can make you think about ways in a different way. I enjoyed that one. And lmao. Too funny. No, I didn’t read your response yet, but no worries. I actually thought for a minute about which one I should leave the comment on. I chose poorly. It is a fascinating story and I’m glad I got to read about it.

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