John Paul Caponigro’s “Test for Echo” is an ode to connection and communication in a world that feels as disconnected as ever. Using the primeval medium of flames in the night, the narrator disrupts their solitude by signaling to a distant fire across the water. It is through this ancient means of points of light in the darkness where the narrator finds communication to be most universal, interconnectedness most all-encompassing.
Test for Echo
Once I saw a fire
across the water
reaching high into the night.
So I lit my fire.
My fire was small
but it was enough to signal to the other,
I see you, and I am here.
Now, whenever I light fires, I wonder who’s watching –
the trees, the grass, the flowers, the fireflies, the moths, the birds,
the ocean, the clouds, the moon, the stars,
the very ground I rest upon?
Testing for echo, I send my calls of light into darkness.
Even when all I receive is the gift of silence, I am comforted because
I see and I am here.
John Paul Caponigro
John Paul Caponigro is an internationally collected visual artist and published author. He leads unique adventures in the wildest places on earth to help participants creatively make deeper connections with nature and themselves. View his TEDx and Google talks at https://www.johnpaulcaponigro.art/poetry/.