This Poem was Submitted By: Mark Andrew Hislop On Date: 2004-10-29 06:08:07 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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I walk two country lanes when I go walking and neither is the lesser one to me. The one’s the home of all agreed Convention, the other is the haven of the Free. One country lane with cobbled fences guides me from Ay to Be on narrow elm-lined course. The other fields an open invitation: steal mushrooms, frolic, ‘borrow’ farmer’s horse. Why should I be so bounded in my innards as not to pick those mushrooms as I pass? I eat them in a sauce of thyme and garlic yet leave them unoffended on the grass. I’ve all the mushrooms I have ever tasted in memory at hand where’er I go. And horses I have ridden in their dozens: if now my mind should ride, then who’s to know? Now mounted with a mound of sautéed mushrooms now galloping my afternoon away I walk my other lane with double pleasure more happily to reach my Be from Ay. So I’ll respect all boundaries I encounter because within the World they keep the peace. But in imagination’s luscious pasture no boundary can prevent my soul’s release.

Copyright © October 2004 Mark Andrew Hislop

Additional Notes:
For Lulu.

This Poem was Critiqued By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2004-10-29 15:11:07
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.66667
Hi Mark, I have read this piece several rolls off my lips when read aloud. I like the sound and the feel of it. I love the rhyming of the 2nd and 4th lines in each stanza...very effective and rhythmical. So many times in my life I have wanted to throw caution to the wind and do the un-conventional. However, I usually do what is expected of me instead of joining the 'haven of the Free.' Giving yourself permission to jump across the 'cobbled fence, steal mushrooms, frolic, and steal the farmers horse, sounds like too much fun! At one point my husband decided to become a mushroom hunting expert so I would tramp around hills and meadows with him to find the finest and the most tasty. He would cook them in butter and garlic but I don't think he used thyme. The 4th and 5th stanzas are my favorite. Not only for the rhyme, which is wonderful, but also for the content. The poet stepped off the cobbled path and found his mushrooms so now to walk the conventional path is a pleasure. This is one of you best poems and I will have a hard time in making a choice when the voting begins! By the way who is Lulu? Peace...Marilyn

This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2004-10-29 15:08:21
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.23913
Mark, Everyone feels the boundaries locking them in a box. Wanting to be free to be thee. Dam the stop signs, taxes, bills, rules. Rebel,rebel, rebel! And with the election here and being aware of all the injustices about, we are more infuriated. But like the good citizens we are we stifle our free wheelin urges and continue on. Bound up in our innards.....[ulcers anyone?] No one's promised us a rose garden. The best lines, that hit home were; So I’ll respect all boundaries I encounter because within the World they keep the peace. But in imagination’s luscious pasture no boundary can prevent my soul’s release. The mushroom theme tends to make me think of 'magic mushrooms'. Oh to live so free, may be the end of me. Keep the spirit Dellena
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2004-10-29 13:52:41
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.65854
Mark–I was intrigued by the familiarity of inference to “two paths” (almost an analogy with another poet’s observation). I'm always impartial to mushrooms no matter how prepared-smile. Horseback riding doesn't float my boat, but I've lost a coin or two when I bet. Simple and disarming title with all civility that it and subsequent verbiage entails. This colorful and sequential satire takes the reader(s) on a recollection of juvenile delinquent escapades that scream of esoteric adventure and romanticism. The piece also show redemption by apologizing (non-condoning) for said improprieties while conversely insisting no wrongdoing can be cited or intended when entertaining these same exploits via the mind. This post is an excellent example of scribe’s skills and abilities for story telling (or truth telling). Lulu should be honored. TLW
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2004-10-29 13:00:32
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.85000
MAH: Another loverly piece which seems to roll from your pen with the greatest of ease. Your end rhyming is spot on and your meter lends your typical cadence which is lilting anf rhythmic. I like your title because we all have to deal with same, like it or not. Your choice, you tell us, is a lane of convention, the other haven for the free. Stated that way, I see little choice of consequence. I'm reminded of Frosr's "The Road Not Taken." All of this is metaphoric of free will and that man can follow the path of his election. By the third stanza, the walk in the heady air has given me a tremendous appetite. Mushrooms sauted in butter with a pinch or so of thyme...ah, man....I can think of nothing else now. Okay, no mushrooms as you are guided (?) from A to B. It requires great exercise of restraint as you stomach cries out to be sated. Your point seems to be you do not have to eat mushrooms nor borrow a horse as you've seen/done all before and you have been able to keep the experiences in your brain for facile access. Back to Frost and "The Mending Wall." There's something about a man who doesn't like a wall. Both walls and boundaries keep people out but well-constructed walls and boundaries make for peace between neighbors or in the larger ocntext, they preclude wars between nations if men can respect boundaries. Your epiphany leads the reader to the poet's insight at the ending. With creative energy, man can surmount any fence, wall, or boundary and his soul will soar in new freedom of release. I am aware I've offered no advice nor comments for change/improvement. I see none so all my review can do is tender an exegesis, agreeing with the bulk of what you've herein offered. A very nice read you've given us, and I always applaud good poetry. Thanks for thwe pleasure. (I've got no mushrooms but have butter and thyme but in my quirked-fated life, I am allergic to mushrooms...and worse.,..Garlic!! Best wishes, Mell Morris
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