Life's Climb

Long hewn by the wind and rain

To shape this African terrain

A region high and touched by cloud

Where Summer thunder roars out loud

A land where men do seldom stray

And never in the midst of day


On either side the mountains tower

And on the slopes the Protea flower

Exotic blooms of torches red

A sight but for the few who tread

This strange and hostile place

Where I alone must danger face


The flying beetle drones and weaves

Amid, amongst Acacia trees

A lizard darts from safe fissure

To regulate his temperature

To rest upon the warm granite

Quite still, as if inanimate


Far below a mountain stream

Fast flowing bright and rushing keen

Through valley, gorge and meadow flees

Its destiny some distant sea

That river's fate so well assured

While mine remains as yet obscure


The Leopard too is known to roam

Amongst these rocks, his mountain home

Sure-footed, lithe and handsome he

Adept at climbing tree or scree

Forbid he sense a human scent

And puts and end to my ascent  


If I should fall

As I ascend this granite wall

Above a sea of sliding scree

Can it a foothold guarantee?

The proven path a safer route

Trodden by those more astute


Look up ahead and not below

Make steady progress sure but slow

Now burning hotter summer's sun

So much of life as yet un-run

If I should fall

As I ascend this granite wall


The sapping heat of Heaven's eye

Now rules the midpoint of the sky

No shade or water near to hand

In this dramatic dangerous land

Pray soon the midday hour is past

When longer shadows welcome cast


Reflect and ponder circumstance

The necessity to take this chance

Better then to turn around

Descend towards the lower ground

Yet that option brings a greater fear

The downward drop appears more sheer


Whether to attain ones dream

One treads uncharted paths unseen

Or take a slower safer way

More free of risk and jeopardy

In life what is the ruling choice?

Which option has the stronger voice?


Yet those who take Life's gentler climb

Must sacrifice the gift of time

As fewer goals can be achieved

Than Youth's ambition once decreed

Moreover comes there great reward

Surmounting dangers untoward


Assess the risk and then decide

Which route along the mountain side

He who never took a chance

Should not complain of circumstance

And yet, if he should fall

As he ascends Life's granite wall




  • Classicmister

    Thank you JaneEVE ... I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  • poelove

    very descripte poety enjoyed the read and especially the lasr verse with 'As yet 'if he should fall' twist. nice

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