The Challenge of Climbing Mountains

most think the challenge of climbing mountains
is reaching the top
sweating
aching
heart pounding
pushing past fear
step by step
to finally stand victorious
in the rare air
above the clouds of ordinary being
surrounded by distant views
of unclaimed summits

but
with each descending step
the real work begins
returning to the valley of everyday existence
the spirit begins to shrink
atrophy
for it can no longer be fed
by ordinary life

the real challenge of climbing mountains
is never surrendering the summits of our dreams
to stand alone
bold and free
with only mountaintops
for company

tio stib

2016, 2019, 2020

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Seekers

I pause
high above the world of human strife
to look about the mountain I call life
and in the air where breath is rare and clear
I notice other seekers venture near
A wave, a smile, a moment’s eye
and then their journeys pass me by
but in the silence that ensues
I find my heart has been renewed.

tio stib, 2015

You might also enjoy: A Mirrored Smile, Flavors of Friends

A Friend Passes

it happened
in the depth of night
a wisp of wind,
a soul took flight

a smile
a laugh
a curious mind
flew off to join
the ghosts of time

as memories sweep
my shores of being
his waves roll on
cross seas unseen

I pause to think
what might have been
if life had passed
without my friend

tio stib, 2015
for George Forrester

You might also enjoy: Flavors of Friends; A Mirrored Smile

A Time When I Could See

there was once, some years ago
a time when I could see
when ladybugs and butterflies
meant everything to me

a soaring hawk
a baby’s smile
a surging wave around my feet
falling leaves
the setting sun
the colors oh, so sweet

a christmas tree
a bumblebee
bright new socks
birds flying free
a black red rose
a sparkling sea
the rising moon

these simple things meant all to me

there was a time, some years gone by
when what I saw could make me cry

that time has past, just silent screams
are left to echo in my dreams

tio stib, 2016

You might also enjoy: dirty snow, night walk

Third World Shower

the singular measure
of civilized pleasure
a waking human’s treasure

the perfect morning shower

while some grade countries on GNP
the importance of which I fail to see
only one thing matters to me

my perfect morning shower

still asleep
I hear the hiss
signal of my morning bliss
the flood of wet and cozy warm
the deluge splashing off my arms
consciousness begins to shake
my toes squiggle in a little lake
oh joy, the day that starts like this
if not, surely something is amiss

so here I stand expectantly
waiting for what I hope will be
that moment of pure ecstasy

my perfect morning shower

a distant rumble in the wall
my senses spark to shower’s call
the pipes begin to shake and creak
and then there is a tiny leak
a drip
an agonizing
pittance
of lukewarm
dribble

and so, from side to side I sway
trying to soak in token spray
pretending things will be okay

without my morning shower

tio stib, 2016

You might also enjoy: Morning Bliss, Mystery Game

Hell’s Canyon

but the map says it’s here!
icicle creek
this is supposed to be icicle creek

I stared
at the cascading tumble of roasting rocks

what made you think icicles could exist in Hell’s Canyon?

but the map says…

maps say a lot of things
doesn’t mean you should trust them

no argument
after nine parched miles
10,000 anguished steps
past three dry gulches
the advertised water had not appeared
although, in fairness to the map
rattlesnake creek had partially lived up to it’s name

even weighted by a fifty pound pack
adrenalin had defied gravity
launching my ten foot leap
over the awakened, angry rattler

guess I should have filled more than one water bottle this morning

you think?
what’s the next creek called?

a drop of sweat splattered on the map

surprise

perfect

tio stib, 2016, from a thirsty memory

You might also enjoy : The Crossing, The Campfire

Two Rivers

ahead
the canyon wall plunged
fell from the sea of sky
the river
dancing from shadow to sunlight
promising a new world
vanished

the rapid exploded

bouncing
white water splashes
rainbow mist
giggles
screams

the raft was spit
into beyond

and she was there
clear, quiet, confident
two rivers
two lifetimes
flowing
swirling
joining
at last

together

a shared smile
two travelers
now one

tio stib, 2016

You might also enjoy  Life Is Like a Broken Egg, Veiled Vision

The Wave

he watched the wave break
surge up the empty sand
surround surprised toes
sending shivers up his spine
awakening a dormant mind

then silence
the wave fell back
disappeared into eternity
and he wondered
about his life

tio stib, 2016

You might also enjoy High on Gratitude, Desert of Dreams

 

 

 

desert of dreams

there
there it was
so close
so very near
shimmering
hypnotizing
a feast for a starving soul
yes
finally

lips parched
heart aching
feet moving mindlessly forward
hoping
yes
finally

to touch his dream

he stopped

smiled

or was it the gods laughing

another mirage
on the desert of dreams

tio stib, 2016

You might also enjoy  Footprints, Life is Like a Broken Egg

Morning Bliss

as morning tickled consciousness
I felt the bliss of nothingness
no cares
no pains
no trains to mis

one eye peeked out
and check the day
the sun screamed back
c’mon
let’s play

a choir of birds
sang from the trees
my only thought was
silence please

the voice of guilt
rang through my head
it’s time, your laziness
get out of bed

this voice was buried in a flash
by memories of my recent past
the years of running for the door
pushing self
do more
do more

then in a fit of selfish glee
I pulled the covers over me
I chose to hide inside my dreams
to feel once more
the peaceful bliss
of pure and simple
nothingness

Tio Stib Signature

You may also enjoy: The Crossing, The Comfort of Complacency