The Mountains

I found myself among the mountains
I went wandering on a lark
I walked along the trail that climbed up
‘Long the way I did watch and hark

I found myself among the mountains
I had hundreds for company
Some were pilgrims, chanting loudly
Others who just came to see

I found myself among the mountains
Looking for a kindred soul
‘Nother man whose spirit called him
‘Nother rambler without a goal

I found myself among the mountains
It turned out I searched in vain
There were many who came to conquer
What they saw as a tough terrain

I found myself among the mountains
I did wonder why I went
I couldn’t break the spell that bound me
I concluded that I was sent

I found myself among the mountains
I saw what they all could see
I do not know what they all found 
In the mountains I found me

Mother*

Drops of limpid liquid

Falling like a string of pearls

Emanating from a slowly-melting glacier



Streams, pools and eddies

Slender threads of silvery silk
 adorning sheer rock-faces
Then scurrying downhill like a gaggle of giggling schoolgirls



Sinewy slithering restless rapids

Roaring loud, tumbling down with a thrusting force

Like a winding hungry python stalking its helpless prey



Rushing madly toward one another

Like languishing lovers longing for an embrace 

Joining hands at the confluence to elope together



Ponderous, serene, expansive, voluminous

Stained now from encounters with countless towns

Patient, slower, quieter, yet exuding its awesome power



I have glimpsed these fascinating facets

Of the Himalayan river known by many names

Yet we who receive her gift of life 

Can only call her 

Mother

Portal

Nobody ever really lives
Nobody ever really dies
These are two universal truths
The rest, my friend, are lies

We’re all mere figments
Of each other’s imaginations
Your legacy, but a fabrication
Of my fertile mind's machinations

So many who still live are dead to us
Yet so many who have died still live on
For we cherish truly what they meant to us
Their memories linger long after they’re gone 

In the wondrous remembered world
Everyone’s foibles can just vanish
Our minds have the awesome power
To remember only what we wish

I believe there is a fourth dimension
I believe we neither live nor die
Our memories, a portal to another world
Where the rules of our world don’t apply 

I’ll always remember the great writer
Who beautifully captured the gist:
“The world of memory is a perfect world
It brings back those who no longer exist”

Treasure Chest*

The pit in my stomach
When in a game of hide and seek
I suddenly discovered no one could find me

The short sharp instant
Of asphyxiation during my very first dive
When I thought I was literally dead in that water

The ecstatic cartwheels 
My heart turned with its unbridled joy
When I proposed and she said yes with her eyes 

The jet plane feeling
When for the very first time
I sped my car up onto an Interstate’s on-ramp

The subatomic smallness
That shrank me as I stood on the rim
Of the Grand Canyon and looked down its boundless abyss

The satiated silence
Of a moonlit walk when nothing was said
Yet everything was understood by our two clasped hands

The wave of breathless grief
That left me shaking like an aspen in a winter wind
When I watched him draw a breath and never let it out again

Memories time cannot erase
I often reach for them in my little treasure chest
What we have is only what we remember, as a great poet once said

One Day*

There’s a poem I haven’t yet written
There’s a poem I do not dare to write
There’s a poem that gnaws at my soul
There’s a poem that keeps me up at night

It’s a poem about my humanity
It’s a poem about how I think, how I feel
It’s a poem about my vulnerability
It’s a poem about how I hurt, how I heal

It’s a poem about when I’ve wronged you
It’s a poem about when I was unkind
It’s a poem about when I was selfish
It’s a poem about when I left you behind

It’s a poem about when I tried to plumb my mind
It’s a poem about when I dropped the plumb
It’s a poem about when I found only darkness
It’s a poem about when my pain left me numb

It’s a poem about how I stared down a well
It’s a poem about how I failed to see
It’s a poem about observing myself in the mirror
It’s a poem about my reflection observing me

One day I’ll gather the courage to be me
One day I’ll show the world who I really am
One day I’ll bare my soul, I’ll be brutally honest
One day I’ll stop living like a total sham