YOU MUST WALK THAT LONESOME VALLEY

 

Parts of the poem are sung to the song of the title. And the whole poem is based on the song's rhythm.
If you sing the small singing parts it is more fun and more will come to you.



(Sing) You must walk that lonesome valley
You have to walk it by yourself
(Speak) The valley of longing
The valley of regret
The valley of despair
The valley of broken childhood
But you can be held.
(Sing) You have to walk it by yourself
(Speak)The valley of broken dreams
The valley of broken love
The valley of gratitude
The valley of patience
The valley of waiting
The valley of opportunity
(Sing) For nobody else
(Speak)
Can walk it for you
But you can be held
The valley of darkness
The valley of silence
The valley of light.
The valley of forgotten love.
The valley of plenitude.
The valley of perpetual longing...
(sing)
For nobody else can walk it for you...
(speak)
And you walk on your hands and knees
You walk running all the while
You walk whistling through your mouth
You walk slipping through the cracks
You walk crashing about
slogging, stumbling, breezing through...
(sing)
You walk it by yourself.
(speak)
And you shall be filled.
You shall be filled.
(sing)
Because we...
(speak)
We walk it
hand in hand
step by step
and when we walk it
Step by step,
we go
hand in hand
in the darkness
and in the light
and if we glance
when we glance
to the side
to the front
to the back
we will find
we are not alone.
Two by two
we are not alone.
Three by three
we are not alone.
to the side,
on and on,
we'll see
we actually walk
together
we walk
together.
though often it
doesn't seem
like together
we gotta see
through our heart--
which is never direct
which is never straightforward
which is never as it seems,
but then it is.

But you gotta
(sing)walk it
by yourself,
For nobody else
Can walk it for you...
(speak)
The walk adds
The walk contributes
Our knees get skinned
Our heads get bumped
Our sides split
Our throats get lumped
Our feet get tickled
Our skin gets parched
Our lips get kissed.
Our stomachs get filled
and then emptied
again
Our thirst gets slacked
Our fingers reach and grab
Our minds get bored
Our patience gets sore, split, excited, worn out, ramshackeled, evanescent,
rewarded, discouraged, enervated, redundant.

And we shall be filled
(sing)
But we must walk
it by ourself
(speak)
and together
we walk
together
we walk
to find ourselves out
to fill ourselves out
to find the spring in our step
the love behind the door
the footloose and fancy free
the mooring for our heart--
around the bend
beneath the waters
on top of the highest peak
we walk it by ourself
(sing)
for nobody else
can walk it for you...
that lonesome valley
(speak)
we walk in the same step
the same moment, at the same time
we just can't see it
but we are held
we are held
(sing)
you have to walk it by yourself.
(speak)
we build ourself in that valley
we find our sisterhood in that valley
our brotherhood
our familyhood
our nationhood
our worldhood
our neighborhood
we find peace
in that valley
our hearts are healed
in that valley
we continue there
in that valley
(sing)no where else.
(speak)
to walk is to lay down
the tread of our life.
(sing)
in that valley
we must walk
we must walk
(speak)
we walk,
in the valley of our heart
the valley of our pain
the valley of our love
the valley of life.




I realized this poem could be a "participatory" poem. You could easily add your own lines depending on what you are wrestling with at a given moment. That's what the poem is inviting you to do. And it's easy because the rhythms in this song are very forgiving.