The poem below was written in January 2009 at the age of 18. Or that’s the date I have on it, but I think I actually wrote the first draft a few months earlier in August of 2008. Recently, I opened up a copy of Echoes of Eternity, the first book of poems I published. I realized that few of my poems in that book had ever been published on my blog. Even though I feel like some of them fall below par (and I cringe when I see that), I also realize that there are some really good ones in the book. Also, there are a few that never really were good friends with me (for instance, they never seemed to quite say what I wanted them to say, or sound like I wanted them to sound) but when I returned to read them years later, I find that they are much better friends than I ever thought them to be. Below is one of those, called “Home,” mostly because ever since I left the village, homesickness has been harder.
Someday I’ll travel all the world
And sail the oceans wide
I’ll climb the highest mount on earth
And row my boat against the tide
I’ll view the Alps of Switzerland
In their majesty unswayed–
Unless my little grain of faith
Reduce them trembling and afraid;
And yet I’ll still look back and see
That no matter where I go,
Near or far, wherever I roam
Across the broad world I know–
Still burn the lights of home.
I’d see them still, the lights of home,
Imprinted on my mind,
No matter how much Persian wealth
Or Yukon gold I’d find
They’d call me still and stay with me
Even as the Sphinx I’d view
I’d think of them as I’d kneel down
And wash my face in China’s dew.
If I could climb Mt. Everest,
Cling victorious to its peak-
Almost to touch the sky’s vast dome–
Still my eyes would ever seek
For the hearth fires of my home.
In Africa’s huts or Bedouin’s tents,
In the palaces of Spain,
In sunlight on the purple moor,
Or in the fog of London’s rain;
In the tropics of the south;
Or in the blinding Arctic snow,
My soul would always think of home
Beneath the elms and my heart would know
That whenever rejected by the world
Or saddened by its sin
Through the weeping rain, I’d gladly come
And always find rest within
The burning lights of home.
-January 10, 2009
2 thoughts on “Home”
Although I’m in my forties, in my dreams I still regularly return to my childhood home – a safe place where I climbed a willow in the side yard to be alone, learned to catch and hit a ball with my dad, celebrated birthdays with neighbourhood children, and played (and fought) with my sisters. Growing up in a loving, safe home is a blessing not everyone enjoys and it’s something that I’ve come to appreciate more and more.
I am so grateful for the memories of a beautiful home and childhood. Like you said, not everyone gets to experience that and I so grateful that I could. As long as home is still there, its easier to keep on with my work here.