Distance Holds No Separation ~ Puente

Distance Holds No Separation

Distance Holds No SeparationI cross this wide river
every time I come to you.
And again, when I leave.
There is no other way,

~for distance holds no separation~

when I follow this course,
past and present become one.
I find consolation in that,
every time I cross this bridge.

A Puente, this poem is my response to Poetics: Build a Bridge, the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. The first and third stanzas of a puente convey a different element or feeling, but they have an equal number of lines, with that number being the writer’s choice. The one-line middle stanza, set off with a tilde (~) at each end, is the puente (Spanish for bridge). It functions as the ending for the last line of the first stanza AND as the beginning for the first line of the third stanza. Rhyme is optional.

Since moving to Missouri, I’ve made the trip back to New York to visit family many times. Being retired, I pretty much have an open calendar. My wife does not, so many times I’ve driven the round-trip solo. Each time, I cross the Mississippi River. The Stan Span (Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge), named after St. Louis Cardinal baseball great Stan Musial, is on Interstate 70, one of the routes out of St. Louis.


~ Day 27 ~

Finding Direction ~ puente

Finding Direction

How I held your counsel dear,
missed now in your absence –
the talks we shared,
the lessons learned.
Long years have passed
since we last spoke,
each trial faced reminding me
of the advice you gave,
each time leading to
that never ending question.

~ Which is the right course to take? ~

No words I might provide
would hold the answer you seek.
It is not mine to give,
but yours to divine.
Look not to my past,
but to your present.
There is hope and despair
in all that you face.
Know the difference,
and all will be revealed.

The prompt for MTB: O Apostrophe! from Amaya at dVerse ~ Poets Pub is to use the poetic apostrophe – not as in possession, but in reference to something absent. When poets direct speech to an abstract concept or a person who is not physically present, they’re writing apostrophe poetry. Historically, poets often began their address to the absent party with the interjection “O.”

The is my first attempt at writing a puente. Its form seems perfect for my purposes, as this poem contains a response to the opening stanza.

The puente has three stanzas with the first and third having an equal number of lines and the middle stanza having only one line which acts as a bridge (puente) between the first and third stanza. The first and third stanzas convey a related but different element or feeling, as though they were two adjacent territories. The number of lines in the first and third stanza is the writer’s choice as is the choice of whether to write it in free verse or rhyme.

The center line is delineated by a tilde (~) and has ‘double duty’. It functions as the ending for the last line of the first stanza AND as the beginning for the first line of the third stanza. It shares ownership with these two lines and consequently bridges the first and third stanzas, essentially resulting in two that overlap.