Lorriane Walker Williams, the Santiva Chronicle's resident poet, takes to the skies and composes this in one of her favorite forms, the sestina. Lorraine's work appears each Thursday in the Santiva Chronicle.

Nature’s Puzzle

The world below seems a puzzle—

At 35,000 feet jigsaw roads

crossing and re-crossing rivers.

A curriculum in geography

written with invisible ink

punctuated by plains and mountains.


Snow-capped, sky reaching mountains,

clouds climbing, hiding nature’s puzzle.

No rules, only blind faith ink-

staining pages marking turns, roads

taken and not taken to imprint geography.

Snow melt streams into rivers


rising, pregnant with promise, rivers

sustaining life, gurgling with joy, mountains

scraped raw. Tortured geography

will not reveal what puzzles

the eye, what travels millennial roads,

deciphers myths, elliptical facts inked


until deceptions enter. Bold strokes ink

paper, electronic streams denying rivers

altering the course of life. Roads

diverging in yellow wood— mountains

of data debated, scientists puzzle,

project and proclaim change in geography.


Flood, drought define geography

altering what once was true. Ink-

lined charts and maps create a new puzzle

re-charting water levels, eroding rivers,

eroding balance, out of synch. A mountain

habitat disappears, progress corrodes.


One step forward, one step back, no in-roads

to quick solutions; climate, topography, geography.

Mankind’s intertwined wants and needs. Mountains

built on speed, convenience shrinks

time, distance, but will not hurry rivers

floating lost pieces of the puzzle.


Flying over mountains, rivers,

removed from roads inked on maps—

Geography a puzzle whole, intact.

Lorraine Walker Williams

About the Poem: I wrote this poem on a flight across the U.S. The sestina form of six end words repeating lends itself to moving in multiple directions and becomes a commentary on climate change, environmental impact, and mankind’s decisions.