Hey guys! This is a poem based on a combination of my own soul-searching and my trip up Mt. LeConte over spring break. I may do a short story version of this later if I have the energy, I think it would work well as a poetic-prose sort of thing in the vein of Poe. Let me know what you think!


It’s cool here, with a pleasant breeze.

The dawn light filters through the leaves

Onto the cars and the people –

Help is easy here; cell signal in spades.


          I don’t know what I’ll find

          When I outstrip the safe facade

          That I’ve shared with The Mountain

          Since before I remember


It’s getting warmer now, and humid.

There is moisture in the ground,

But not yet mud; it is still an invitation.

Here I am not yet alone.


          Many have seen this part of Us;

          Both the casual and the serious,

          Strangers they are not,

          But neither are they friends.


It’s getting cool again, and dry now.

The needle ice claws at the boots;

A warning, perhaps, of danger to come;

Apathy is no longer tolerated here.


          Few will ever go to these heights,

          And only those who like Us.

          We don’t mean to hurt them,

          But these are dangerous depths.


It’s cold now, and snowy.

The powder hides hazards,

Drags at boots, slides downhill.

Company is not permitted here.


          Here We are alone,

          For who would brave the conditions?

          There is no controlling this

          Raw soul and naked nature.


It’s bitter now, with a wild wind.

Bare rock bears boots,

While the angry gale tries to

Protect the maskless ground


          Here we are unwelcome,

          Our presence galling.

          Existence is pain, and pain

          Is the Truth of Life.


Leave this craggy peak

Before the wind tears the fabric

Of Our being, scours clean the

Falsehoods that protect Us


It’s still cold here, with ice and rocks.

Treacherous footing to hurt and herd

Back to the safety of the mask.

Death is on all sides, inviting as always.


          There is no one here,

          The Mountain and I forbid it.

          We don’t like the truth

          Being discovered, documented


It’s warmer now, but still rocky.

Rocks to break bones,

Rocks to lash out and hurt

Those who got too close


          There are but few here,

          And they want to go home;

          Away from the danger and

          Back towards the Lies.


It’s wet now, and muddy.

Mud that slides towards Death,

But also mud that cloys and prevents

Progress away from the Truth.


          Here there are people,

          Tempting fate to find the

          Ugly Truth by an easier route:

          They will fail.


It’s warm now, still muddy.

The fire-blackened trees hint

At the tragedies the Mountain’s weathered,

But no one guesses the cause.


          The public is here,

          Marveling at the Mountain’s

          Remarkable resilience,

          But they won’t know the Truth.


It’s nice here, barely muddly.

The brook babbles by and the

Needles cushion boots and suggest

A quiet internal reflection


          The people here

          Can be forgiven for accepting

          The false hospitality

          That hides the Mountain.


It’s idyllic here, with dry ground.

The sun is up, warming aching muscles,

And cell signal has returned,

Signalling a return to Our facile facades.