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Treasured Island

"For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land,

so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti,

full of peace and joy,

but encompassed by all of the horrors of the half-lived life."

----- Herman Melville from: Moby Dick


The rocky cliffs rise

above the sea,

like a great wall holding back

the watery main.

Nations vie

to control small bits of earth

still, the appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land,


and erodes the soil

'til nothing's left

but reef,

like one who is stripped

of all the frivolous

trappings foolishly acquired in time,

and then

in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti,


a secret place

which first must be found

then explored

and once known,

treasured above all else.

It is the prize esteemed

the elusive isle…

full of peace and joy


The journey there will be filled

with choices.

To risk the rifts

can be its own reward,

stay anchored

in fear and you will be

encompassed by all of the horrors of the half-lived life.

--------------------- Judi Van Gorder A Glosa

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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David W. Parsley

Hi Tink, fascinating selection from Melville, through which you weave your own expansion of the theme. What motivated the use of the anachronistic " 'til"? In conjunction with "great wall," "watery main," "treasured above," etc., I get the feeling that you are evoking an early nineteenth century or Victorian model, but not sure I follow.


I like the feel of the poem and its theme, the sound elements work well.


- Dave

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

excellent judy. i feel you service his writing you with great justic here. i love this particular writing by him. great passage you choose to encompase your written poem on sentimently. i love this.tinker. you know ust what to say perfetly from the studing choices of poetic style and verse type you learne an used. <...> smiles...


my problems lay with i have mood swings and say to much. and when i am told to trim the fat even tho there is nothing wrong with what i wrote it tells to much and what i posteddoesn't show everything grammar wwise. i take out what words i should keep and add on to what I shoul really trim. this is my one weakness in poetry. i am working on it. when people explain this to me wh yi should do something it helps me enhance my average or mediocre poems to awesome poems.


thank you


Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Hi Tink. I also like the feel and theme. It appears to advocate the worth of self examination, discipline and reward. A “nothing ventured nothing gained” mini Odyssey, which brings to mind another famous line, “Go placidly amid the noise and haste.” Your language choice, format and the unusual way you have woven it into Melville's lines works for me. I felt however, that the last stanza was perhaps a little long, and laboured slightly to arrive at the final line, but that's just me.Benjamin

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