Out of breath but not energy, I tire on the upward path
Stop to see where I am. The summit’s not far, but I need water.
It is the taste of spring, taste of April I take, the icy-sweet clean
Can-anything-be-so-pure-snowmelt rushing right out of the earth.
This is how I want to be, clean and clear, no phone TV house or car
No worn-out concept, dead-end dogma, news of the dead or war–
Merton had his seven story mountain, but was a monk. I aspire
Only to know myself & poetry. That too is a mountain worth a climb.
To long for, wander out and look for the miracle in the mundane
The unexpected blessing in contradictions, the calm fox napping
A hare hopping by unharmed, the globe spinning from light to dark
In a field of floating stars, sparks rising from a camp-fire
The echo of a waterfall
That is what I want, not to get away
But get closer to what I need most and love, a place
Where the many faces of the mountain are one, where I sit
Allow the toil and grief of life to flow out of my mind, out of my body
Drain into the earth like water, a leave me for good.
“Climbing Mountains” first appeared in Illuminations: Expressions of the Personal Spiritual Experience by Mark L. Tompkins (Editor), Jennifer McMahon (Editor)
Cover photo for the poem by Rayn Roberts: View of Mts. near Hoh Rain Forest Washington