A Soft Touch for Depths

For the seeker in the dark.

abstract picture of gray color surface

You weren’t always sure you were writing poetry, only that your words could mean something to the truck driver, the soldier, and the one closing the bar. You had harsh words for critics too quick in judgement to listen to what they were not expecting to hear. With both feet in soil, you celebrated the ancient of ancients, and were not too proud to honor what eluded your knowing.

Prone to embrace strangers far and wide with a gaze bent on honoring how the best of the wonders each carried was in tune with an old and ancient song, you could not stop yourself from humming as it moved through your working bones––that which stains dark and touches soft, with a flair of great loneliness, those also softly treading, searching in the dark.


Over coffee, I noticed that on this day in 1967, the American poet Carl Sandburg died (born 1878), and I decided to spend some time reading a journal article Sandburg published in February 1916 edition of Poetry Magazine, praising the (often misunderstood and maligned, at the time) work of Ezra Pound. I find that a person tends to reveal a great deal by the bend and texture of their admiration. I borrow some of Sandburg’s phrases (italicized) above, praising Pound, and blend these with ideas commonly attributed to Sandburg’s work.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

2 thoughts on “A Soft Touch for Depths”

  1. “your words could mean something to the … one closing the bar.” One of the most interesting comments (compliments?) I ever got was that my writing was ‘simple.’ I’m always impressed at the way you find some random bit of information, dig deeper into the topic, and then distill it into your own piece. Curiosity and vision.

    1. Thank you for this, Jeff. In my early days, I fussed and elaborated a lot. Lately (largely because of this daily project, and the time constraints that come with it) I’ve learned a lot about letting go and making room for what is ––and been relieved to find that whatever it is, it isn’t me. Hah!. I also appreciate the way you tend to “hide” profound insights in something that appears at first conversational. Sending warm thoughts your way, and hope you are doing well!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: