by Ronovan Hester
No peaks, valleys, or destination points.
Never was a road map pointing the way.
No guarantees the fall will eventually end.
The trek back to the top not blazed or marked. Lost. Alone.
Unique in your success, and one more number in the failures.
Dreams ride the random undulating waves.
The crests unstable and never solid for long.
The high only lasts a moment before the crash.
The climax ends in a churning trough of descent, expected, unknown.
To climb this mountain your vision is vast and wide, planning, and watching.
Carried by the past dashed dreams of others,
and the burning saltiness of millennia of failures.
Just one unbalanced breath, and your ride in peril.
And your next, you slip, not along rough terrain to the bottom of dirt and stone.
But down the wall of see-through glass, life on the other side. Predators of players?
Or the dramatic plunge, less graceful than chaos.
Watching the greeting sun reflecting surface below.
Chest raw from the impact through the vanishing hopes.
Pushing through, chin, knees, shins, scrapped with sandpaper of pulverized dead things.
Bloodied and bruised, but not the end, tumbling over and over, gasping for breath. Dying?
Your limp body washes up on the sand, choking.
You join the other eons of unrecognizable rejects.
No one to help. No roadside assistance. No guardian.
People walking along, heads down, looking for empty shells, and finding you.
But you’re not enough, not quite dead enough, you stink of fresh disappointment.
Their heads refuse to look out to the horizon,
never seeing the sun-soaked crests of possibilities.
None of those tumbles, those survivors, or those joys.
They always walk safely on dry sand, toes dry, just out of reach of adventure.
The chance, the opportunity, of living. Heads not in the sand but forever bowed.
Lives only change with empty shells of the living.
Polished with time to the point they all look the same,
yet the wary keep up their search for the next perfect vessel.
Only inches away, a vibrant and exciting life calls with a roar they no longer hear.
But you’ve survived, and you tremble to your battered and pain-filled knees, again.
You stand, turn to that uncharted, desired filled world.
Wading in up to your chest, deep in the sting of the past.
Now dive and swim to fight the tide, or others will drag you.
They’ll help you along or drown you with their own failures, sinking before they’ve crested,
back to those footprints in the sand, now another empty shell to add to their dead collection.
Turn, wade, dive, scan the playing field, and wait for the swell.
Each fall, each ripped open chest and scrapped chin, battle scars.
No success without trying, nor without appreciated amounts of failure.
With each toe that leaves the sand behind, it dips into the salty dreams of ancient warriors.
You learn to descend from those crests in control, with less in chaos. With more success than not.
© 2021- Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.