As it welcomed me in,
Its coves containing allure
Of place outside
I started slow
And found myself faster.
The farther and farther I went in
The more it opened up.
Where at its mouth the stream sat dry
It now ran wet,
Growing fuller the higher I climbed.
I drank and was filled,
I stepped and was carried on,
The heat of the day cooled
By springs and shading trees
Sending life and wisdom to any
Who would brave that long journey up.
Briars without number came to block the way
Through which I tore and slashed
Losing perfect skin to bloody paths of pain
From thorns dug in deep
Spurring my stride
To march swifter.
The longer I journeyed the harder muscles pushed
And sweat drowned the eyes to near blindness.
Even if clothes be stripped
And flesh be ripped
Until, freed, my soul would soar,
I couldn’t think of turning around;
Nor wanted to.
I had to see more
But gradually light lessened.
My feet slipped in my fever—
Then above the green canopy I saw
A sea of gold.
I made hinderances hide as
Poles dug in deep to thrust
Upward, to keep from the dark.
Too late to turn around, I went up.
But switchbacks came.
Would their distance away
Play more than the vertical feet gained?
As sinews faltered rounding a corner,
Time almost gone, I was
Touched by a ray. My lungs
Opened and feet left the ground;
The wind defined my hastened legs
And wrote the words from my ears.
Purest energy did I receive that I felt
No other thing.
Walls and concaves became
Lines and points and so
I saw my end drawn.
On reaching the saddle among summits I sat.
Taking in the views of last sights
I raised my hand and caught that last bit of honey,
Warmth everlasting and true
And at last I knew.
As the sun gave diffuse grace
For late souls to get home
My feet dropped and shoulders let go
—It was dark.
Such was my day.