Take As Long As You Need

Take As Long As You Need

Apparition of my dreams: forget your temptations of glory.
Give up on me! Do not entice me to ascend this mountain
when I cannot perceive the peak covered in cloud.
Courage melts under scrutiny of daylight, a dusting of snow,
while your seduction beckons and frightens, leaves
my soul cowering, that outstretched hand might strike.

Yet in my heart a numinous chime does strike,
sends me fishing for deep reds and lush yellows of glory
in proud display, a poem peacock of autumn leaves.
Stunning sunset, prismatic waterfall, majestic mountain –
fool’s gold, hopeful beginnings buried under the snow
of cliché. What radiance can break through this cloud?

Always, swells of inadequacy surge forth to cloud
the tango of words. Adjectives and adverbs threaten to strike,
afraid to blemish paper with ink as exhaust grimes fresh snow.
Take as long as you need to collect the implements of glory,
my vision. Endless is the gravel-strewn passage up the mountain.
Barefoot, we must tread warily lest a scar the trek leaves.

Expand the table for the coming feast: add leaves
of synonym and simile, metaphor and imagination, a word cloud
to rain down possibility before the looming mountain.
For a moment, words turn bold and strike
out in search of perfect pitch, promised glory.
Despite ill forecasts, uncertainty has not yet begun to snow.

When it does, shovel and fine brush shape a carapace of snow,
a fortress that protects heart, defends against the obtuse, leaves
room for artful breaks, gives words freedom to glory
in veiled meanings, crafts a holy sanctuary no umbrage may cloud.
To placate the poetry gods, oh muse, title thrusts from shell to strike
the beholder, provoking a private pilgrimage up the mountain.

Chilled as a winter eve, I huddle in the shadow of mountain,
appraise the guidance of my foot prints in snow,
secretly hope none attend my trail but instead strike
off on a new course, not to accept the inheritance my word leaves
but to amble into mystery, for the peak will ever be in cloud.
Only the strenuous slog toward justification grants a florid glory.

Is the face of God to be found on this mountain? Is there glory
in the gathering snow storm? In forming molecules into a poem cloud?
For hope of the odd elegant phrase, I strike this bargain: doubt never leaves.

©2017 Kenneth W. Arthur

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