We are the walking
wounded, blow upon blow,
day upon day, we cringe,
gird, panic, and endure.

The grass is greener, of course,
until you crest the ridge
and tromp through knapweed
down to the dry creek bed.

For every cool cedar bottom
there is the sun-baked
hillside of rattlesnakes
and loose scree slides.

Groomed trails are hard
to find in this bushwhacking
life. The best we can do is
learn to read the terrain,

trust our eyes, know we were
lost before we started, breathe
into the chest pains, slow
down, look around, appreciate

the trip, the stumble, the fall.
Listen, smell, maybe chant
or sing. Those storm clouds
will rain. The darkness awaits.

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4 Responses to THE MOUNTAIN

  1. Kathleen K2 says:

    The best life advice comes from poets, especially from your poetry.
    Not that I ever follow advice, but I love that connected feeling when I’m reading your words and in my head I scream “spot on, Mark!!!”

  2. Larry Frates says:

    I would love to paint one of your pieces.

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