A Long Walk

A Long Walk

A Poem by Robert Ray


Young, romantic, and naïve, our walk began,

On a common path, others in front and back.

Disillusioned, winded, aching, some descend,

Or bored or frustrated, quit and backtrack.

 

We climb, grins fading, chasing the fleeing sun,

Light streaking through the soaring treetops,

Broken gray clouds above us, the day half done.

A brewing storm or just mountain dewdrops?

 

We climb, grimacing, chasing the day’s sinking star,

Now alone in the deep shadows, our wills tested,

The pretty, glistening pinnacle, beckons from afar,

Committed, bonded, climbing higher, we are vested.

 

Ah, the peak, at last, loosely clutched our wedded hands;

An orange twilight gently warms, eyes wide, rosy faced;

Then, a fierce mountain whirlwind, nature’s reprimand.

Night upon us, we hunker down, weary bodies embraced.

 

Blackness and cold charge, seizing the stony summit;

Numb, nearly blind, bodies tight, our hearts pound.

Then, wind and ice, the Devil’s lesser known torment;

No shelter, no escape, only treacherous vacant ground.

 

Awake! Oh, dear God, where is my dearest companion?

Did the midnight squall steal you from my desperate embrace;

Or, in your anxious escape, did you stumble into the canyon,

Leaving this place and me, dumbfounded, without a trace?

 

Waiting for dawn, I stand alone, shivering in the icy rain,

Whipping my bare skin like a loose rope in a tornadic wind,

My hands trembling and knees buckling from the pain.

Do I stay, searching, hoping against all odds, or descend?

 

God, do I wait for the next sunrise, get on my knees and pray;

Or, do I depart, heal up, and climb the mountain another day?

 

 

 

 


© 2018 Robert Ray



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Featured Review

Since I haven't been married in my 61 years, you have confirmed that marriage is as difficult as I've heard it is! *wink! wink!* I always love when a writer uses tons of imagery to SHOW instead of tell. Your tough walk up the mountain is clearly described in your extended metaphor that reminds me of back in my mountain hiking days, as well as your double-meaning about the journey of love. My overall observation is that this journey seems to be a little heavy on the "tough" side & not so much on the "joy" side. This is OK, if that's how it feels in your scenario! I also like your use of dynamic verbs . . . hope your holidays are bright! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you, Margie, for your comments. You're right. The journey I describe is a bit harsh and dark,.. read more



Reviews

Well, Robert, I should warn, I myself am not a Christian, but I believe in God just the same. I also believe we should pray, but I also believe we should depart, heal, and come back to "climb that mountain another day," as you so elegantly put it. And I can't judge because I've stood both hoping against all odds and fully prepared to descend at the same time. You see, i learned a lot about my own soul in the descending, but I learned even more about myself on the way back up.
Honestly, I think both scenario serves us justly and aptly, but few serve us as well as the poetry you've written in the above stanzas.
Thank you for questioning both, and thank yourself for having the fortitude to question both and do either, my friend.


-Louis

Posted 1 Day Ago


it happens eh!? your poem is the real deal ..the rubber hits the road and sometimes gets burned ... i like the question in your closing .. nice to still have the privilege of choices in the wake of storms ... poor guy (i see your protagonist as a guy) if he were my son i would put me arm about him and say .. "It'l;l be OK son...it'll be OK" :)
E.

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

1 Week Ago

Thanks for another read and your comments. I like your analysis. When a poem speaks to you, and yo.. read more
Einstein Noodle

1 Week Ago

:) ...............
My, my. The imagery in this is absolutely astounding. You can feel the new, happy and young love grow with the poem until it comes to a stop in panic and disarray in the worst moment possible. What I do love about this poem (and poems in general) is that you can take it in any way you want with many different stories to tell. With fights, to loss, to depression, you can take it in any way.
It's a truly beautiful piece and I can't wait to read more of your work!

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

1 Week Ago

Thanks very much. It's great to know when a poem speaks to a particular person. Yes, there's so ma.. read more
Hi Robert
Interesting. One is reminded of the Myth of Sisyphus. I also think about some Samuel Beckett works with the idea behind distinguishing between the rock and the man constantly rolling along the indiscernible universe. Keep up the good work. Earl

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you, Earl. I sincerely appreciate you taking time to read this one and share your thoughts. .. read more
A truly amazing piece of work! This poem makes me think about how we should proceed in life regardless of the hardships placed in front of us. Some people make their choices faster than others, but in the end we have our own challenging, personal walks through life. If anything, you've got an unwavering spirit in my eyes. Your brimming with the strength to make it through your walk. Oh, and keep writing along the path :)

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you for again reading my work, and taking the time to share your thoughts. Very much apprecia.. read more
Excellent use of natural surrounding to describe the bumpy road that is relationship and at the same time describing the fleeting moments of a short encounter. I agree with Margie, very heavy on the struggle, missing the joyful essence. I like the question "do we fall in love or rise to it?"

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

As always, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. I certainly see you point about the "st.. read more
Great imagery and connections. This piece really builds momentum in a surprising way as I read it, in my opinion. I have gone back over it a few times now and that acceleration is still there for me. I'm no expert, but I think it's awesome.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you, sir. Very much appreciated.
a deep write,relationships that just don`t work out,sad but reality

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

Indeed, sir. Thank you for taking time to read and share your thoughts.
 wordman

3 Weeks Ago

my pleasure
This poem is great! No, like its really great. It carries one through the whole journey, with the feelings that accompany it. the enthusiasm at the start of the climb...resolve, vows, wedded hands. The fear and confusion when ugly winds blow, and then the questions when one or both think differently. you brought everything out so beautifully, and in fact at the end, you voiced a truth of that bend in the journey. That twist where one wonders whether to fight on or let go.
Great poem!

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

Glennise, thanks very much for reading my poem, and for taking time to share your kind words. Great.. read more
Perseverance, hope, challenge all call to me from this poem. Someone who doesn't give up, knocked down, they get back up. The visualization and the strength in your poem is incredible. Excellent!

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you, Taino, for taking time to read and share your kind words. Very much appreciated.

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18 Reviews
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Added on December 23, 2017
Last Updated on January 9, 2018
Tags: relationships, marriage, faith, strength, hope, pain, despair, loneliness, journey, free verse

Author

Robert Ray
Robert Ray

Madison, IN



About
"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery" (Francis Bacon). Thus, I prefer my readers know me through my words---not my age, birthplace, old jobs or titles, or college names or degrees. .. more..

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