Listen to the voice that speaks within your heart,
a whisper set against the roaring tide;
softly calls the voice that’s set apart.

The world calls loud and clear and smart.
But what the world shouts is but a din;
listen to the voice that speaks within your heart.

Or someone says, Come, I know your heart!
And lures you with all things bright and false;
softly calls the voice that’s set apart.

Then down the crooked road you make a start
But hesitate and falter by the way;
listen to the voice that speaks within your heart.

Then turning back, you find you’ve lost the chart,
and way darkens unto way—and all seems lost;
softly calls the voice that’s set apart.

So you, my friend, find yourself alone.
Or not alone at all, for one calls, “Come!”:
Listen to the voice that speaks within your heart
Softly calls the voice that’s set apart.


David Holper has done a little bit of everything: taxi driver, fisherman, dishwasher, bus driver, soldier, house painter, bike mechanic, bike courier, and teacher. He has published a number of stories and poems, including one collection of poetry, 64 Questions.  His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, and he has recently won several poetry competitions.  He teaches English at College of the Redwoods and lives in Eureka, California.

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2 Responses

  1. J. Simon Harris

    This is a really good poem. I especially like the opening stanza, which is lent extra power by the stressed beats at the beginnings of the first and third lines. In fact, the meter in general is very well handled. Abstract, allegorical poems like this can be difficult to pull off, because their success relies almost entirely on the poet’s skill with language and imagery. This one is, I think, a success. And I think any dreamer can identify with finding oneself “alone… or not alone at all.” Excellent work.


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