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Mountains and Valleys

Upon the highest mountain
I found an icy hut;
A lonely man was within,
His door was never shut.

"Meet the world," were his words,
"And see a view so far."
We stepped out with the birds,
And floated near to star.

My arms swung out in surprise
As my feet left surer ground.
When I calmed my dancing eyes,
There were things that did astound.

To the south was some water,
Lake or Sea I do not know;
But it did brightly glimmer
With such light that I did glow.

To the north lay a plain,
Which did go ever on.
Changing sights did it gain;
Each one came, then was gone.

To the east and to the west,
The mountains did continue.
Where they stopped I only guessed,
They all did fade to sky-blue.

Just below me was the peak,
Surrounded in a cloudy wreath.
Once again did he speak,
To tell me of what lay beneath.

"Toward the future can you dream,
And look into an endless realm."
As I looked at snow-white gleam,
The thin crisp air did overwhelm.

"The events exhilarate,
And the sights do impress;
But try not to stay too late,
For it all might regress.

"The snow though it glistens
Can treacherous ground be;
Frostbites those missing mittens,
Avalanches to the sea.

"Enjoy it while you will,
This place is of great reknown.
Never forget, if you will,
There is up because of down."
I sobered myself in the hut,
And then did take my leave.
I scampered down a rocky jut,
A new course for to weave.

The path wound slowly lower,
To where a spring wet the land.
Soon grass grew greatly greener,
And golden sun shone so grand.

As the path dove deeper,
Light was lost in high boughs;
The water clouded darker;
Singing birds would not rouse.

Then in the deepest valley
A bent old hag I espied.
Her curving back was to me,
Yet I knew that she cried.

I had found a fallen log,
Upon which vines did grimly creep.
As I sat beside the bog,
I asked her, "Why do you weep?"

Startled she was to hear my voice;
She swung her head to see my face.
"Wherefore should I rejoice;
Will it bring bows or lace?

"Little grows in this sunken land;
Flowers, grasses, luscious fruit,
All do turn to dusty sand.
Only weeds do here suit.

"Even with you, I feel alone;
This ravine does so smother.
If I wail or if I moan,
A problem just becomes another."

The air hung deathly still;
Water dripped to stagnant pools.
Just then my bones did chill
As I thought, "There are no rules."

Then her eyes briefly brightened
As she mentioned something fair.
"Down here are some things heightened;
Learning lessons is not rare."

A surge of hope came to my mind,
When I two thoughts did connect.
High and low can each other find,
Gaining both bad and good effect.
I took the woman by the hand,
From the valley to guide her.
When we reached where sea meets land,
Then on the sand I left her.

I rushed back to the mountain hut
To grab hold of the wizened man.
He thought that I must be a nut,
As we to the flat beach ran.

Finally after all those years,
Could he and she for each other care.
In a place which the mind clears,
Did they both high and low share.

As they both cried and laughed,
I set out on my way;
For on the shore was a craft
Which beckoned me not to stay.

So I set foot on its sturdy deck
And hoist the flowing sail aloft.
Soon the beach was a distant speck
Beneath the glowing sunset soft.

Through the night did I sail,
Entirely by whim of sea.
When the dawn broke through pale,
A quiet beach lay before me.

The wooden bottom rubbed aground;
I threw my body to the shore.
Sleep engulfed my mind around
And to my dreams an open door.

I awoke to the sweetest scent
And soft caresses on my back.
I turned to see what it meant;
Who it was with such a knack.

Then did I find my true love,
One so opposite but so like me;
Her soul was sent from high above,
So harmonious to my psyche.

Since have we hiked to high peaks
And down to dark valleys too;
Gladly more highs for all the weeks
But even if not, I'd still love you.

15 April 1986
David C Lawrence

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