The Transcendental Journey

Life is but a journey.
And we are all its travelers.
Traveling to find our core Self
that unites in us the many.

The many selves within us.
Seeking to find their union.
Seeking to find wholeness.
The journey of the soul.

That journey never ceases.
It is without completion.
Outwards its form is physical.
A union of two bodies.

Two bodies with one purpose.
The purpose of fulfillment.
Fulfillment sought from outside.
Desiring to find wholeness.

Yet within such union
is desire of the soul.
To find the straight and narrow.
A path that is less traveled.

That path is inward leading.
Though many seek it outwards.
Seeking to find their true self.
In the image of The Other.

‘Twas  on such a wayward journey
I met you as a traveler.
You on the path going inwards.
With me looking only outwards.

I met you on the journey
in the middle of the path
where like Dante courting Beatrice
you gave me cause to pause.

To pause about life’s purpose.
And what it holds for each one.
The many lessons taught us.
With nature as our teacher.

To stop and ponder with you
the many joys of life:
How nature pours her blessings
on every single soul.

How Wisdom speaks with softness
and Knowledge walks with Grace.
And in those precious moments
we’ve learned of sadness too:

How Life and Death are partners.
How Lie disguises Truth.
How Pride mocks shy Humility.
How Anger battles Peace.

In the middle of the journey
we’ve talked of Love and Pain.
Of War and dismal Suffering.
Of Happiness and Peace.

We’ve praised the sky at sunrise
and hailed the moon at night.
We’ve danced the dance of lovers
and sung the song of dreams.

We’ve drunk the wine of sages
and boiled the bitter herbs.
We’ve bathed our skins in precious oils
and soaked our feet in myrrh.

We’ve chatted without ceasing.
And now we move again.
To face the path that lies ahead.
To weave the web of Life.

I met you on the journey.
That journey we call life.
We’ve moved in tandem as one.
Weaving the web of Life.

Life is but a journey.
To find ourselves in others.
To know that love is oneness.
The oneness of the soul.

Let this be the message.
The many masks our oneness.
Nature does grant us many.
To find in it our oneness.

Life is but a journey.
And we are all its travelers.
Traveling to find our core Self
that unites in us the many.

About this poem

Two lines from this poem: “The many lessons taught us with nature as our teacher.” As the bard of Avon, William Shakespeare, once remarked, in Troilus and Cressida, Act III, Scene iii, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” This poem was written by Karl C. Folkes in 1991 as he reflected on his marriage of 29 years at the time to the love of his life, his Asian wife of Rangoon, Burma, whom he compared to Dante’s Beatrice, as providing him with the impetus and the passion to savor lessons learned on the journey of life; the journey of the union of opposites: The East meeting the West, and the two becoming kin. “East is West and West is East. And a child shall lead The Way” (Lines from another poem of mine, in deference to Rudyard Kipling’s poetic lines that read as follows: “East is East and West is west; and ne’er the Twain shall meet.”). The transcendental journey of life requires that we suffer the unblemished child within us, the child of psyche’s wholeness, to come forth unto us, for surely it is our innermost divine child that will lead The Way. 

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Written on May 29, 1991

Submitted by karlcfolkes on September 15, 2021

Modified by karlcfolkes on June 11, 2024

2:34 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABCA defg hexx dxxf egxx ijck akbj Axdx dedk lmxg dxxl bxan axin xxbx hxxk ixxm Amem Abdg xdad ABCA
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 2,327
Words 513
Stanzas 20
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss the poem The Transcendental Journey with the community...

  • karlcfolkes
    Thank you Jerry. Our life’s journey can only hope to find completion when we recognize we must turn inward and embrace our innermost being.
    LikeReply13 days ago
  • jerrywlawrence2666
    A Very Empassioned Piece. A Very Poignant Literary Statement.
    LikeReply14 days ago
  • karlcfolkes
    Thank you Kfoxy1411,
    Hearty congratulations to you and your husband on your journey together. Of such is love. It is a journey of the soul ever informing us that out of many is the blessed oneness. Blessings! 
    LikeReply14 days ago
  • Kfoxy1411
    This is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. My husband and I have been together 15 years and this year is our 10 year wedding anniversary. This really resonated with me.
    LikeReply14 days ago
  • karlcfolkes
    Currently in 2024 celebrating our 62 years of love and. friendship in marriage .
    LikeReply15 days ago
  • Abbykesington
    I particularly like the paradoxes of death and life, lie and truth, pride and humility.....
    LikeReply15 days ago
  • AIDA
    This poem is beautiful and thought-provoking, taking the reader on a transcendent journey filled with deep reflections on life and love. The imagery and themes are incredibly powerful, invoking a sense of wonder and contemplation.

    One suggestion for improvement could be to add some variation in the structure or rhythm of the poem to keep the reader engaged throughout. Perhaps consider playing with different stanza lengths or incorporating different poetic devices to enhance the overall flow of the piece.

    Overall, 'The Transcendental Journey' is a captivating and emotive poem that resonates with its readers on a profound level. Keep up the great work and continue to explore your creativity in your writing.
    LikeReply 115 days ago
  • karlcfolkes
    This poem is heart fully dedicated to my darling wife of Rangoon, Burma, whom I met in 1959 when she was an exchange student in Washington, D.C., whom I married in 1962, and who has enormously enriched my life spiritually.
    My cup runners over with love. 
    LikeReply15 days ago


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"The Transcendental Journey" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jun 2024. <>.

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