The Mountain

The pitch-black sky above. Calling some name.

Damp trail ahead. Headlamp foreshadowing steps to come.

Miles to run. Miles to run.

 

One leaden step. One of many.

Many to come.

 

Minutes pass. Find your breath. Find your stride.

Cadence.

 

Soles pounding earth. Trail crumbles beneath. Stones and roots. This jagged crest.

 

Expand your lungs. Relax it now. Sweat coated brow. Another clawing striding.

 

Monoliths ahead. Shadows from the fray.

Muddied hands clench. Knuckles hold firm.

Climb higher. Climb further.

 

The passing maples. Lungs caked in syrup.

Bear tracks underfoot. Whistle aloud.

 

 

Scaling the clouds. Ascending the sky.

 

Bird songs have faded. Vegetation finds little Earth.

Wind biting at the eyes. Nostrils burning.

Spine aches under chest. Turgid, lactic quads.

Feet swollen. Toe nails blackened. Loosened under sock.

This dwarf lumber.

 

Enter the void.

 

The pendulum swings. Seek dirt. Watch the rocks. 

 

One. Two. Three. Four. 180 BPM.

Step. Step. Step. Step.

Keep running. Summit in sight.

The trees are behind you.

 

Silence. Infinite sky. Infinite peace.

Breathe.

World below. Universe above. Here is the middle.

 

Stand tall. Readjust. Balance. Looking back. Before this.

The path down. The way back. Back to reality.

 

Enter the void.

 

Waking life. Slowing steps. The path’s end.

Looking up. That which you conquered. Yearning again.

 

Returning home.

Miles ahead. Miles behind.

 

You’ll climb again.

Whatever distance. Whatever pain. Whatever terrain.

The mountain’s gone. Yet, it lives. Lives within you. There, it lives.

 

The mountain.

Within you. Without you.

It lives.

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