Leverage

could he row back time through ancient channels

oars heaving on the drag where stillbirth weeps

splinters edged their way, his leathered hands held

damp muscles moaned and begged unending sleep

the doldrums drugged him, nudged defiant nuance

come rest, they said, forget and bide ye here

amid false calm to dark tumult hereunder

relax, lay back, your haven it is near

mesmeric waves of stillness poured upon him

narcotic song of sirens far beneath

to drift in waves of opioid rhythmic cadence

temptation in surrender, weapons sheathed

yet he rowed, in shards of pain and fury

the rasping on his skin a testament

endurance, no mere word, in life’s still waters

muscled memory hoved though strength near spent

miles or more he moved in arcs of fruitless

or so it seemed as fog around still lay

plied, exerted, all he had within him

lone figure, chloroformed, in shadowed day

a mirror watched his progress, paid his passage

unknown to him, it glanced on waters dark

slivers sliced and pierced his skin, world weathered

weary palms saw nothing of their spark

determination drove his lone resistance

persistence plied in dogged dips and heaved

cleared the stagnant sludge that hindered leverage

worked his way towards something he believed

The Climb

Tremulous and wary,

Scarred outcrops, hands do meet,

Risking all for summit,

Chasms at my feet.

 

Wending way through mire,

Sunken souls abound,

Treading carefully, unknown

Pathways to be found.

 

Clambering to mountain top,

Paths trod by others past,

Obliterated passage,

Take care and hold on fast.

 

On hands and knees to grip the way,

Rising then to greet

Peak among the clouds on high,

Accomplishment so sweet.

 

Faster than ascent of this,

Descent knows clearer rite,

Sliding swiftly, gloriously,

Abandoned safety flight.

 

Ascent’s a scary business,

Risking life and limb

But touching heaven’s foothills

Makes for worthy aim.

 

I said I’d never tackle

Such a one again,

Elevated trial,

Encountering so much pain.

 

New challenges arise and then

I don my hiking gear,

Embark on death-defying quest,

Inside my heart I cheer

 

At opposition clearly met,

In honest self-endeavour,

Braver than ignoring them,

Is trying with some fervour.

 

Sometimes we may not see the crest,

Shrouded so in cloud,

But effort and endurance

May make ourselves feel proud.

 

Some hardy togs, a hiking staff

And heart of sterner stuff,

Battling on, in adversity,

Often is enough.