One Poem by M.L. Lyons

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The Wall That Walked Away

inspired by Andy Goldsworthy’s piece “The Wall That Went for a Walk”


I will not fortify or fence your neighbor’s plot.
For under us all ground does give
and though I press each roughshod hoof,
I quiver, as round the ribbings of my rocks,
each root probes through sod and soil.
Vines creep and crown my back,
and twist flowers into my craggy mane.

You make your walls to stand erect and stay.
Each soldier brick upright or layered hard to hold
your mausoleums and your mansions fast in place.
I’ll canter, and strut my knob-kneed way
past bewildered farmers in their fields.
I’m wandering this watching world.
Past parcels, past roads, past what you claim is space.

I’ll make each church surrender to the sky,
create transparent spires for your faith.
Undam your rivers. Unbuckle every boulder
of your battlements and release the rubble
plundered, that groaning weight of gold and gains.
Run past rivulets, breaking flank by flank,
until what’s wild rises up to me, and you will see
each bud and bird and beast burst forth into its proper dignity.




M.L. Lyons was awarded a Klepser Fellowship in Creative Writing from the University of Washington and has recently interned with Copper Canyon Press. Currently she is co-editing Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workplace (Lost Horse Press, Fall 2014).

Header photo, Andy Goldsworthy’s “The Wall That Went for a Walk”, by John Menard (jmenard48) via photopin cc. is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, art, commentary, and design since 1998.