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Posts Tagged ‘A Golden Day’

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smoky waterfall

I walked the narrow mountain trail
At first both up and down
Until I reached what seemed to be
The Smoky mountain’s crown.

And there, I paused upon the path
And looked out through the trees
To see the low slopes stretching out
In Autumn’s careless ease.

And then the hike was not as dear;
I ambled down the slope,
Pulled by the mountain’s own descent,
By gravity’s veiled rope.

I walked upon a rug of leaves
That, plastered by a rain,
Was Autumn’s decoupage of tints
Upon my traveled vein.

A tree had fallen ‘cross the way,
A trunk too big to climb.
On hands and knees I scuttled ‘neath,
Like snails slide through the slime.

I’d gone so far without a sign
I started to despair
Of ever finding what I sought –
The treasure that was rare.

More than a few times, turning back
Seemed what might be the best
And sacrifice what I had spent
In failing Smoky’s test.

I made a vow – a few more yards
Down and around the trail.
And there! – a place that matched my map!
I’d found my holy grail!

I clambered down the trail of rocks,
At times on hands and knees,
And at the bottom of the path –
The spot of pleasantries

That I had bought with energy –
A lonely waterfall,
A modest one that hid itself
Away from almost all.

I marveled at its majesty,
And mumbled to myself
As threads of silver water silk
Fell tumbling from a shelf.

Then, pictures taken in my mind
And in my camera, too,
I packed my gear and took my leave
For I had work to do.

That long descent, that downward glide
That ate away at time
Was now a mountain up above
That I would have to climb.

With weariness, I took my steps.
No longer did I stride.
And in the silence of the slope,
My age was amplified.

I warmed and shed my early coat,
Like trees had shed their leaves,
Like workers start their laboring
By rolling up their sleeves.

And toil I did, with trudging steps
That were both short and slow,
With frequent stops to catch my breath
For I had far to go.

I guessed two thousand steps would take
Me to the rest I sought.
I counted each so that my mind
With pain was not distraught.

I knew that predators would oft
Stalk, following the weak.
And if a bear was trolling me
I would surrender, meek.

I was the old man, and my sea
Rose o’er me as a slope
That I must conquer or be lost
Alone, and without hope.

I took two thousand steps and more;
Came to a mind-marked place.
Adrenalin seeped to my flesh,
And I, as snail, could race

The thousand steps it took to end
My private odyssey,
Where I could sit in weariness
While basking blissfully.

The precious jewel that I had found
Would never make me rich.
And present satisfaction would
Not stop a future itch.

But such things filed within the heart
When man’s done something fine,
Are treasured nuggets in one’s life
Like gold within a mine.

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The photos are mine: one is the trail I took with its obstacle.
The second is that secluded waterfall.

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

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