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Posts Tagged ‘Marathon’

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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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…………..
Under A Spreading Tree

Was there a shade at Gettysburg or Waterloo?
At Marathon, was there a spreading tree, a view
Where one could set his chair and watch the battlefield,
See flash of swords – while from the sun his own face shield? 

Beneath the safety of a branch, with drink in hand,
Was the advance of one against the other’s stand
Watched as an act within a play upon a stage,
Or read as if one’s eyes were on a distant page? 

Did one e’er watch and hear the mighty battle cry,
The call to charge across the field, and there to die
And be at ease as if the hounds were at the fox,
While men were shedding blood on grass and hollyhocks? 

Perhaps there is no one whose heart and blood’s so cold
That there could sit as if he’d bought a ticket sold.
It’s easier to be detached from agony
While safe at home and sitting ‘neath a spreading tree.

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photo by Kevin Tuck at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/nbZdcvA/Autumn+park

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2014.

 

 

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