Listening to Folk Songs on the Metro

By Benjamin Phillips

A wayfarer
and restless, I stand
lost in my home.

I see mountains
every time I close
my sunken eyes.

The indigo
shade they cast on the
sky in twilight.

My heart longs to
gaze at horizons
so encumbered.

I am haunted
by the serene views
of my childhood.

So, I stand at
odds with the city
I inhabit.

The urban dreams
of one rooted in
Appalachia.

This place still holds
me captivated
with its wonders.

Without equal,
its bright atmosphere
entices all.

It is true that
I remain as a
willing captive.

Because it was
I who pursued this.
Who can blame me?

I feel at home
among the streets, crowds,
and cobblestones.

Why am I still
hollow with longing
for smokey peaks?

My soul tethered
in place while the mind
and body roam.

Torn between who
I am and where I
am meant to be.

Can this be home?
Are blue ridges to
be skyscrapers?


Benjamin Phillips is a first year law student at Washington College of Law at American University who is interested in human rights law. From Tennessee originally, his poetry is often inspired by his time in Appalachia. The haiku is one of his favorite forms, as he enjoys the evocation of single, momentary images, and the personification of nature they are capable of. The focus on nature throughout his work a focus comes from the desire to capture small scenes of beauty he sees in everyday life. Ironically, he hates the phrase “stop and smell the roses.”

2018-05-07T22:00:41+00:00