Monday, June 3, 2013

THE ZEN OF MOUNTAINS AND MOVING UP THEM



CAUTIONARY TALE VIII-SELF DETERMINATION
I can feel the grip on my wrist,
holding me strongly
while my foot searches for the next step
that will move me forward, upward to this climbs end.

My mind dare not wander to the “what if”
yet how can it not shuffle thoughts
while ascending mountains
to the lotus purpling sky?

Loose stones falling abound
I have spent so much of my living,
my strength feeling for the outcrop
that will hold my weight let me rest before I go.

I have crossed many
ranges of tectonic thoughts
that I no longer remember from where I started
or why, other than the simple:

“I must get away
from the here
I have returned to again;
forgotten and climbed back to”

The cost of my exertions
was the loss of my slavery of thinking
that one day I may fit in somewhere
I am loved and can return the care.

Now, now I know I do not need to fit anywhere
other than here, on this mountains face moving
upward toward what I have long hoped
to be the final end of my last climb.

I feel the grip on my wrist; have felt it for decades.
Scaling unknown inflexible places can crush a man’s soul.
While I climb, sweat and yes, even occasionally fear
the fallacy that I will never fail or fall.

All I am climbing toward now this time
is to kiss the face at the end of that arm.
Until then I will have my own thoughts as I’ve been taught
to fit my own steps wherever I am to be on this rocky face.

I accept that responsibility
for upward motion is shared;
but if I do fall, the failure is mine alone
for the gravity of my cares misplaced.

© M Durfee
6/3/13

30 comments:

  1. smiles...we all fall at times, to think otherwise is surely madness....it is a shared journey, even then we still fall...sobering end...our misplaced trust and care in the hand that pulls us up

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    1. I think the shoes we wear have a lot to do with how often we fall Brian. surely you have seen that credit card commercial where the chick spent her points on good climbing shoes. Well I learned never to wear lug soled shoes when i am dancing ballet.

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  2. I'm getting to the age where falling is beginning to worry me.

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    1. Charles I am not being critical here but seriously man you need to move to Detroit where life just isn't that precious.

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  3. The scary thing about mountains is that it always looks the the peak is right ahead of you, when in reality it is much, much further away, hidden by the nearest ridge.

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    1. Alice, when i had younger legs that bore far fewer injuries that shit never bothered me because I knew if I just kept going I'd get there. And then when I got there I always knew there was more to climb ahead of me just further up the road. I am wanting this to be my last climb. I am tired.

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  4. Never fitting in ... that's a good thing ... I know ... that makes us misfits ... wouldn't want it any other way ... heyahey ... you are on the way ... to freedom ... can't you see ... walking a mile in someone elses shoes ... how else can one develop compassion?

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    1. Catwoman Compassion can be beat into you if you have the right kind of heart--misfit is an interesting word--you fit but just not quite right. Freedom is another interesting word---how much stuff do you not have to have to be free?

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  5. Thank GOD you have the catharsis of poetry, lest you blow your brains out!
    And a Damn fine brain it is Brother...

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    1. Galen--first the proof of me having a brain is scant and second really why would i waste the ammo? Life is doing a good enough job, if nothing else i am patient.

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  6. Replies
    1. Well Mr. Sutton because that's where the caves of the Sasquatch are.

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  7. I wonder if it is possible to write and not feel a misfit? What makes one go back? Reclimb the same mountain....

    “I must get away
    from the here
    I have returned to again;
    forgotten and climbed back to”

    "The cost of my exertions
    was the loss of my slavery of thinking
    that one day I may fit in somewhere
    I am loved and can return the care."

    You've been very busy. Wonderful, if uncomfortable poetry!



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    1. Melinda that is a twisted question, most writers i know only feel like they fit when they write. If i were a writer and not a mountain climber I may twist my way into a fit that didn't miss. But then sometimes i forget and don't replace the frayed rope.

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  8. It seems it might be impossible not to repeat some footsteps we have taken...like an imprint on our souls, we might be destined to go back again and again no matter how arduous or dangerous the journey.

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    1. Talon...That's the problem with a life spent going in circles, first you leave footprints, then a track, which becomes a trench and the next thing you know you're in over your head.

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  9. was there not a track n field event: hop-skip-jump? can't climb that way, though...

    as for falling - last winter's icy wooden deck/steps disabled me for a lot longer than i thought it would - worst hurt was tailbone - nothing broken, but wow... recovery time still ongoing, in places

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    1. So Tony with that injury how does it feel when you have to take a crap? That shit hurt too?

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  10. Your words just rip through ~ I love this part most:

    Now, now I know I do not need to fit anywhere
    other than here, on this mountains face moving
    upward toward what I have long hoped
    to be the final end of my last climb.

    By the way, I came across this video of Sixto Rodriguez and thought of sharing this with you:

    http://www.amoeba.com/live-shows/detail-1244#cat-most_recent_shows/page-1

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    1. Grace thanks for the Sixto.

      You know I tried for the longest time to write poetry then I came to realize that the best I could do was write about my heart, one day I may be able to write poetry but probably not any time soon.

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  11. I, too, feel the grip on my wrist.

    And keep climbing.

    Pearl

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    1. That knowing to trust is finding our footing Pearl, whatever happens I know in the end the best possible conclusion is what will be...except for that damn lottery money. Haven't figured that one out yet.

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  12. What an amazingly heartfelt poem, Mark. Unlike perhaps the other commenters here, I see this as an ultimate poem of faith, something that applies equally to my own current devout state as to more generalized seeking as expressed in, say, this translation.

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    1. Bill you saw what i intended. The response was fine. Thank you.

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  13. Oh to have less gravity of my cares....

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    1. Candace how about just for one day I buy you lunch? I'll even leave the tip.

      Seriously though, you really are at the roughest age, two kids one in college another headed that way, really starting to wonder when the hell you will be able to retire, the business and making sure your employees are taken care of, keeping the relationship warm with the old man...I'd like to be able to fix cars again but other than that all I can tell you is have faith and everything will work out, I sure as hell don't miss the other responsibilities though and am well shed of them.

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  14. The uphill battles we all face...

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    1. Jeff you know as well as I that at times getting down can be just as or even more complicated than getting up there.

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  15. Metaphorical mountain climbing in an awesome poem. I know that your hands are strong but sometimes we do need to reach and grasp another's. For the free fall comes to all of us eventually no matter how strong.

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    ReplyDelete

So Walking Man I was thinking...