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At The Stake

by George Hoerner

are your words dually
do they differ in meaning
between being written
and being read
do they depend upon
being page printed text
or long handed scroll

when they ride the wind
are they comfortable
like cheese on a cracker
or do they tremble
afraid of their sound

are they waiting
to be published
or longing to perish
going up in flames
at the stake
of some reader


Posted on 11/16/2009
Copyright © 2024 George Hoerner

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Sandy M. Humphrey on 11/16/09 at 02:27 PM

George, I read this first thing on a Monday and I think it will set the tone of my day, I shall watch my words and pray all that I say or write is poetic, this is priceless. smh

Posted by Glenn Currier on 11/18/09 at 05:27 PM

I wonder how many poems died inside of me or got lost on a piece of paper or napkin because I figured they would perish and go up in flames at the stake of some reader. Thanks for your honest revelation of questions that probably most of us have had but have not had the courage to articulate. Good write, George. May our poems ride the wind to germinate in the light for all who have the vision - to see.

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 11/18/09 at 07:41 PM

...george, i am one-man-grinning; you speak of a [cutely put] disease. that of [i can't say it--hurts too much.] those pomes we've murdered by not doing something w/ them-like Glenn says, we choose to perish them rather than take a postage stamp tour of every po-dunk 'contest' just to see them in publication; alas, much angst is realized in your synoptic verses, well written and since it is well written--it hurts like the $#%@ens to 'see' what an intrigue this need to write, be good a expression, is ...some tweek is always needed. this life of poetic writing, you define well in a short-short ...

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 11/20/09 at 03:35 AM

I really enjoyed that second stanza - the images made me chuckle, and the whole idea of "at the stake of some reader" gives this an intensity and a perverse randomness that reminds me that ultimately I write for my own enjoyment. Thank you.

Posted by Ken Harnisch on 11/22/09 at 03:21 AM

I wonder too, George, if the bonfire is more fitting a place for some of my offerings...or someone may find in them a gem I hadn't conceived when I sat down to write. It is the hoped for gem that keeps us writing, I am sure

Posted by Clara Mae Gregory on 11/22/09 at 11:37 AM

Ah,I think we all wonder. Often, it is more about the state of mind we are in at the time we read and whether or not we can connect to it. Many times I have gone back and reread things we write, and gotten a totally different emotional response, based on my state of mind and changing experiences, usually for the better. :)Great poem, George.

Posted by Maria Kintner on 02/08/10 at 11:26 AM

This is an excellent question, and to be honest with you, I have no idea. Nice write.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 01/20/13 at 03:52 PM

I think the short answer, George, is all of the above. I think each word either written or uttered exists autonomously from every other word, and thus every situation under which each present themselves differs. I think ultimately words need to ask the same questions concerning those who urge them into existence, i.e. the duality of every creative human being in whose charge and care words have been placed to mean what each world will mean and appear to be doing in every instance.

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