What is it like to be
struggling to break free
of the caterpillary
wrappings around me?
What is it like to be
Water rushing ever down,
gurgling, hushing every sound,
flowing under and around
root, bank, boulder, and stone,
Soaking moss and swirling sand
sculpting now, an unseen hand,
this frozen quartz and feldspar Land
of stuckness I call home.
Trees fight up to fusion’s rays
breathing air-shroud, round them lays,
until their leaves, in darker days,
are drawn back to their ground.
Dust of stars the planets’ nest
rock-melt midst the void compressed
world, from dust to dust, coalesced
and spinning, ever round.
By this rushing brook alone
where atoms gathered, boiled and blown
cling now, stuck stuff, still as stone,
I breathe the flood of sound.
Like the ruin of some ancient fortress, Bondcliff rises from the heart of the Pemigewasset Wilderness in New Hampshire.
The view from the top of the cliffs (4,265 ft.) is awesome: 360 degrees of wild mountains. It was nine miles in to Bondcliff, about 2,500 vertical feet. It was two more miles to Guyot campsite, over the 4,698 foot summit of Mt. Bond.
We were beat.
Day two, we scrapped our plans for Franconia Ridge and hiked fourteen miles out along Franconia Brook instead. It was a nice time with my son.
“When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body…he is the richest man who pays the largest debt to his shoemaker.”
(Thanks to Dave at Hike the Whites for the inspiration to hike to the cliffs.)
He stood his ground. Listening to his own labored breathing against the background of the rushing wind above him. His back was to the drying lake. His lungs hurt. His side hurt. Wow… did it hurt.
He looked down at his bloody hand, then up again at the horde closing in silently around him. He raised his lance. It had enough charge left for one last pulse.
They stopped, hesitated before the final charge.
His fingers flexed on the handle. He watched the sky above fading, it was already dark blue. His breath was short now in the thinning air. The sun was hot on his stinging, wet face. He tried to wipe the blood and sweat from his eyes with what was left of his left arm.
The sun was bright. He though about his family, remembered his wife’s smile, the laughter of his kids, their eyes. He thought of people, milling, socializing, loving each other, growing. He thought of history. He chuckled to himself. He thought of the Romans in their silly helmets, and Hitler. He thought of Great Britain, America, of empires, of politicians. Then he thought of money, the farmer’s market, fresh tomatoes, working in the garden, flowers. Then he thought of his daughter, clouds and the blue sky behind her, the blue sky that even now was blowing away.
So it all comes down to this, he thought. He laughed inside. Imagine being the last human being. Hard to believe it.
He scanned the gray line of soldiers as they raised their weapons.
He held out his lance, roaring as he squeezed the trigger.
There was a bright flash of light and pain.
I extricate myself
from the burden-mask
I was always carving,
but never finishing,
though always wearing,
the one that was always gnawing,
and it falls to the ground
with a thud.
Couldn’t sleep, but
Tossed and turned, and
Ground my teeth till midnight,
Of a cool beach, and
Waves lapped the
Each day, a new chapter.
One page can change everything.
A new scene opens,
and I decide
will take, because
I decide what I
dark bow called
the past, I break through,
riding the cusp of time, as it cuts
into the nothingness that surrounds us,
my path formed and forming, by
chance, choice, and law, as I
fly, emerging from the
chrysalis of each
world red the
the raise I
air of aware