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August 26, 2008 / calebdresser

May, June, July

A child I was, in former days
Fast laughter on my tongue
Quick judgments in simplistic haze
My god – but I was young!

I read of acts of better men
And in them I saw me
Up sprang a wild desire then
To fly across the sea

With careful pen and supple word
My future path I wove
Though understanding naught I heard
In my heart’s treasure-trove

The days were filled with friends to name
Spring floated in my eye
Until at last the moment came
I had to say goodbye

Pink petals danced upon the breeze
Once more I saw their eyes
And so I left to cross the seas
Still focused on my prize

Behold! Below my fleeing feet
a murder to behold
A broken, dying pack-ice sheet
a planet we have sold.

A portent did that image bring
Of what would be my price
I could not see a living thing
In all that empty ice

Diving through lighting ‘lumined cloud
Into new lands I fell
Volcanoes high and laughter loud
Held me under their spell

Away, again, away and up
New truth I had to face
I was no wiser than a pup
In such a foreign place

Near slept the poor on woven rope
It seemed not really fair
That with mosquito nets and hope
In comfort I lived there

And yet with life they seemed not sad
I knew the reason why
For family, friends, and loves they had
Alone, alone was I

Lost in the dark, I cherished light
But power failed me there
I woke engulfed by torrid night
But my soul shivered, bare

At last no more of lifestyle bland
The night train slipping west
My next days with adventure and
Companionship were blessed

The hill-fort held a breezy shade
and in its cool I slept
North to a farmer-man I made
to find what news he kept

In desert heat, mid scrub and tree
Were huts of mud and wood
He rose with squinting eyes to see
And in the door he stood

A solace greater than the pen
Began my soul to mend
I knew the giddy pleasure then
Of speaking to a friend

Each to each our stories we told
Alone, but of like mind
Bathed in warmth, I felt so cold
To those I left behind

I left at last the pleasant care
In just a little while
I reached the hills and with a stare
Began my nightmare mile

Midst peaks of stone and screes of sand
We passed with fearful odds
Until at last, we reached a land
Of smiling laughing gods

I tarried in the greenery
But soon ambition reached
For higher, harsher scenery
For laziness impeached

The lower slopes were verdant green
But higher harsher hills
In snow-capped glory could be seen
To test our hearts and wills

The ponies did not try the way
Above our final camp
Below they stay as up we stray
By light of one small lamp

Hour on hour, step on step, alone
I climbed into the skies
of welded ice and frozen stone
and sun that burned my eyes

Beyond the last protruding crag
The sky was nightly blue
I ate the last from my pack-bag
As my strength from me flew

My feet unhinged, my spirit cringed
And yet the peak was near
My breath was spent, my body singed
I had to downward steer

What thought, what wisdom had I missed
When I reversed my track?
The better men and gods can say
I never once looked back

Returning then again to life
It was a wondrous thing
I talked, I laughed, with joy was rife
And heard the river sing

Downward again with cheery stride
The rugged trail we tracked
Our muddy boots were washed beside
The raging cataract

An interlude of people came,
For suddenly it seemed
One fleeting moment I had found
With friends of which I’d dreamed

Too soon, too soon, to say the least
We left with little rest
We stood up from our parting feast
To travel south and west

They left by air, though strong they were
Would I were in their place!
For all of us did much aver
The road that I must face

The land is high and barren there
And ringed with desert hills
While sister-peaks with snowy hair
let down their winter chills

At last entrapped, no more we sped
While waiting we took stock
Of how the narrow road ahead
Was blasted from the rock

Upon our left, the mountain high
But we looked not at this
For on the right – it fixed each eye –
Behold the precipice!

At last, no desert azure hue –
The sky was filled with grey
So crossing o’er the pass we knew
The rains had come to stay

Full down, at last! The plains stretched out
In haze enshrouded heat
I saw, and wished to turn about
And beat a swift retreat

Sleepless, hungry, sweat-soaked days
Piled fast upon my mind
I curled inside my strongest ways
And put my pain behind

At last, at last! On weary trips
My feet need no more roam
I, in the shadowed sun’s eclipse
Regained my almost-home

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One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. Margaret / Aug 27 2008 2:32 am

    Swift years ago, small boys showed how
    To play as a family then.
    Midst summer’s joys and sorrows, now,
    I find my sons are men.

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