Climbing Katahdin

Pain always finds you. In a fast car traveling away from the one true comfort that your heart desires. In the first steps on the trail to the mountain peak.  In the fear of falling during a boulder scramble. In the mantras you chant as you make yourself as small as possible against the wind. In the zen state of physical exhaustion when you reach the summit.

Pain always finds you, but so will peace.

Then getting back down the mountain is easy.


just my luck

pain waits
crouched in the valley
like the crooked eyetooth
of lovelorn dog
a wounded lapwing
with a drunkard’s song

pain waits like a prayer:
we are bound in the trance
of recital

pain waits
free on the ridges
like a limestone waypoint
lit by cobalt stars
a faded drifter
in a rusted car

pain waits in your voice:
a sweet sound with no chance
of survival

pain waits
gilt on the edges
like a mourning cloak
on a feldspar draw
a curling ribbon
for a sunbleached craw

pain waits like a prayer:
in the sweet by-and-by
Lord, by-and-by
IMG_2938(04-OCT-2018 – Mt. Katahdin, Maine)