All those who wander are not lost, askew
in bad angles. When you see me pearly,
find me stiffened-smiling and then corkscrew
me down the mountainside, through the earlie
berry below, tell them that I was not
mislaid, seeking salvation or waiting
to be found, I was not sinking, distraught,
but was simply on the way home breathing
my way through fondness and deliverance,
consuming air, concluding my baptize,
drinking white, virginal pap, not quittance
under these canvas flaps, nor a chastise
thought or the sharpened blade of suffering
cutting the frozen air, to sleep, to sleep,
in the calming of tight arms embracing
stories within the fascinating leap.
Found is me, unwrapped elegantly,
wanderer, willingly into the deep.


George Korolog's poem, “From tending sheep to confusion on the Amtrak 10:50” won second prize ($1,000 award) in the prestigious 2011 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest. George is an active member of The Stanford Writers Studio. He has had his work published in numerous print and online journals such as Poets&Artists, Red River Review, Connotation Press, Seventh Circle Press, Willows Wept Review, Stone Highway Review, Riverbabble, Blue Fifth, Greensilk Journal, Blue Lake Review and many others. Some of his work will appear in The Whittaker Prize Anthology, “From Here To There and Back,” scheduled to be published in 2012.  He is presently compiling his first book, Raw String. Some of his work can be found online at

I've always found the conjunction of the metaphysical and its relationship to everyday life one of the most interesting aspects of self observation.  In this poem, which can be read as an actual incident or metaphorically, I wanted to delve into two questions.  The first is the question of the appropriateness of taking one's life by choice, through the eyes of an individual who has gone off into the mountains to die.  The second is the question of measuring one's own attitude in life, wandering through its complexities, and coming to a place of acceptance and forgiveness.  A last way of thinking about the poem is through the eyes of a climber, who died in the mountains, doing what he loves.  This poem actually started with the idea in the first line, which I had scratched into my notebook as a single line one afternoon and then put away. When I sat down, opened my notebook a few days later, the image of a climber in the mountains came to mind and the poem developed from that point.



Copyright 2009