The Traveller’s Handbasket

With every place that I go,
And every place that I have been,
I am fated to fall in love.

So I take those things that I love,
And place them neatly in my heart,
Like flowers in a handbasket.

And I go about my way,
Still needing to remind myself time and again,
(and this is very important)

One mustn’t mistake heart fullness for heartache,
And to be full in this way is no burden,

But a blessing.

My Religion

My religion is the way you take your coffee,
It lies in the way we sleep,
and how you still sing me old love songs.

My prayer is one of gratitude with each new day,
It echoes in the easiness of my laugh,
and my trust that time heals all wounds.

My faith is woven into each day’s sunrise and set,
It’s in the inhale-exhale of the sea,
and what it is to stand on the very top of a mountain.

You may say that my devotion lies in nothing,
and that is just fine.
Because for me it lives in nearly everything,
and I’ve never needed any sort of book for that.

I Am Not a Poet

Praises upon praises
I’ve heard throughout the years,
Things like “What pretty things you write”
Peppered with
“Darlings” and “dears.”

Still I will never understand,
How this came to be,
I don’t feel more special or different,
Than those who have exalted me.

What is it that makes a poet?
Or a poem,
If you will.
After all these years of writing,
I question myself still.

Everyone surely thinks to themselves,
Thoughts that are touching and true,
So to simply write them down,
Doesn’t seem like a huge breakthrough.

So—I am not a poet,
Do not pat me on the head,
Do not smile admiringly,
I know what they have said.

I simply do not believe it,
Not me,
I do not write of ravens,
Or kingdoms by the sea.

I do not hunch over my notebook,
Reworking what I’ve written,
I plainly write down what I feel,
And somehow you are smitten.

Perhaps we are all poets,
In our own right.
Some only keep it in,
While some let it out,
To merely feel alright.

Andrea Volken is 22 years old, and has spent much of her life travelling between Washington state and Switzerland. She is currently pursuing a degree in Seattle. Aside from writing, Andrea is passionate about skiing, travelling, and healthy, ethical living.
image: Hiker with backpack via Shutterstock