Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Mountaineer


​The last 8 years have been tough, the accident, pain, loss of mobility and the job I loved and the plummet into the depths of despair was all made worse by the guilt associated with the effect it was having on those I loved.

Somewhere in all that darkness I found a spark, faith, that ray of light that gave me the strength to start climbing.

This poem is called the Mountaineer...

The Mountaineer

I hated the face in front of me,
the pallid complexion,
puffed up jowls
dark patches under vacant eyes,
that stale unwashed reek
of pain and self loathing
a weak and crumbling vestige.

I stared mercilessly
into its worthless soul,
glaring at the
epitome of everything I despised,
trying to find a merest hint
of strength, courage or drive.

As I searched those dead eyes
pitiful tears started to flow,
my hatred deepened.
I wanted to strike him across the face,
tell him to man up, grow a pair
but more than that;
I wanted to destroy
the sniveling wreck
that stared back at me;
from the mirror.

Deep within,
something fanned a dying ember,
it spluttered briefly,
faltered and dimmed
a mournful sigh breathed life,
made it glow and this time
it stuck.

Fire to fight fire
pain to fight pain
forget hatred, hang it up
put fear and anger aside
and trust, believe, know;
I can, I will
climb the hill.

Looking back down
I see a reflection in a lake,
a tall snow laden mountain
rugged and unyielding
and there, right at the top
a small black speck;
a man standing.

John Carré Buchanan
03 June 2016


If you click on the link below you can listen to me read this poem.



This poem is linked to Poets United.

40 comments:

  1. I love this very much.

    I have a dear friend going through some nasty cancer treatment right now.

    I would like to print this and give it to him if that's ok.

    Please let me know.

    Well done, good work.

    Ribs

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    1. Thanks Ribs, I am glad you liked it, please feel free to use it, I hope your friend's treatment goes well. All the best.

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    1. Hi, I'm glad you liked the poem, thanks for your kind comment, it was really appreciated.

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  3. Richard Fleming8 June 2016 at 20:51

    Unquestionably one of your very best, John. This poem has emerged from a very dark place into brilliant light. Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment, I am glad you liked it. Funny how sometimes the best poems take the least effort to write.

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  4. A powerful poem John, more poignant in the fact that i now understand your unfortunate position over the last few years. Extremely challenging for the driven man i knew from all those years back when we shaped our future. Always a little further.....

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    1. Thanks, I guess the key is that you just have to keep climbing, something we both have managed to do. Glad you liked the poem.

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  5. Well done, the close is terrific. Uplifting poem.

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    1. Thank you Thotpurge your kind comment really helped me today.

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  6. Climbing climbing certainly is the goal
    Thanks for a lovely poem John Happy Wednesday

    much love...

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    1. Hi Gillena, thank you for your kind comment.

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  7. That man standing is a triumph. I love stories like yours, John. You show the best of the human spirit in the journey you have made.

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    1. Hi Sherry, Today has been a rough day, your comment helped keep my head up, thank you.

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  8. I am pleased you have survived and overcame your ordeal through courage and determination. You have been blessed with strength and have been chosen to be an inspiration and a help to the others who may not be as fortunate in being as strong as you.Feisty honest and moving poem. Enjoyed it.

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    1. Thank you Rallentanda, I am glad you enjoyed the poem.

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  9. A touching and courageous poem. It's inspiring how the speaker eventually conquers.

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    1. Thank you Khaya, your comment is much appreciated.

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  10. I am MOVED so much by this saga. It will speak to many and offer a way to transformation. How little are our ills when we see the heights we can climb!

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    1. Hi Susan,thank you for your kind comment. I am glad you were moved by my poem.

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  11. This was uplifting. I'll use this one of these days. Good to have read it.

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  12. This is both gut-wrenching and inspiring, John. A raw and honest portrayal of "bottoming out". Good stuff!

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    1. Hi Indybev, Thanks for your kind comment.

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  13. This is truly inspiring John....just as your personal story! Thank you for sharing this with us!

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    1. Thank you Carrie, I really appreciated your kind comment.

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  14. wow a poignant poem which turns into relieve when the man sees his reflection standing tall on the top. I could feel the struggle of survival of the spirit. Amazing poem

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    1. Hi Marja, Thank you for your comment. I am glad that you liked the poem.

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  15. I am deeply moved by this poem, John. After a long, rough climb, the view you see makes you a new, inspiring person.

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    1. Hi Sara, thank you for your kind comment. I am glad that my poem moved you.

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  16. This is inspiring and uplifting."Fire to fight fire / pain to fight pain /
    forget hatred, hang it up"....My favorite portion.

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    1. Hi Sumana, Thanks for your kind comment. I am glad you liked the poem.

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  17. Congratulations, John. I've been at the bottom too. Keep climbing!

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    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for your kind comment.

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  18. How right you are; never give in and hang on no matter how bad you feel as there are still things you have to do. What an inspiring poem.

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    1. Hi Old Egg, Thanks for your kind comment.

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  19. Getting to the top isn't easy, but once you get there, it's exhilarating.

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    1. Hi MMT, thanks for your comment. I find staying on top is just as hard as getting there!

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  20. Whew, John! This takes my breath away. We all need to just keep climbing.

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    1. Hi Mary, Thank you for your kind comment, I'm glad you liked the poem.

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I really appreciate constructive feedback. If you are able to comment it would be most grateful.