Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ascension Lost



image borrowed from bing


Ascension Lost

“No matter how close to yours another’s steps have
grown, in the end there is one dance you’ll do alone.”
--Jackson Browne


Keep on stepping, dude,
or they will attach casters to your broken ankles
and mount rubber wheels on your butt--

nobody can step up until they stand up;
your shadow-self steps tallest at high noon
while alkaline-naked on infinite salt flats;

so circumnavigate the bullshit, you dig?
There is a plethora of small steps
that must be taken before any
damn giant leaps!

We dreamers with artificial knees
and vicious varicose veins can only
gaze longingly at those bitches,

those distant mountains, disdainful foothills
and treacherous ten-story walk ups,
reduced to fantasies, images in paint,
words in poems--

every old mountaineer must acknowledge,
must realize that the killing zone
now resides at sea level.

So crank up the Zeppelin tunes,
tap those tired toes, because cool moves,
daring dance steps have become arthritic twitches,

and those sparkling ivory steps on the Stairway
to Heaven had by God better morph into a
slick escalator if your big backside is ever
to ascend them--

but it really doesn’t matter, does it?
More than likely when you finally take
that last big step to the Other Side,

you will laugh like a lemur 
because somehow
you will have managed to step
in dog shit just before the crossing. 

Glenn Buttkus

October 2013

Posted over on Poetry Jam

Would you like to hear the author read this stepping poem to you?

8 comments:

Mary said...

I must say I like this a lot, Glenn. I do agree that there are small steps that must be taken before a giant step. I think this can apply to so many things....finding a profession, falling in love, etc. Slowly & carefully BEFORE the big leap!!

Ha, as far as mountains...I did some of the Glacier Mountains at one time; and I also climbed to the top of Diamond Head on Oahu. Now I am happy admiring their beauty and remembering the time when....

Yup, hope that there is an escalator to heaven. I think by the time I am ready the stairway to heaven would indeed be a killer. (No, wait, I would have been dead already, right?)

Anyway...this was a cool contribution to the Jam! Thank you.

alan1704 said...

This is fascinating, Led Zeppelin meets Jacob's ladder. I really like this and the way you blend the images together. Well done.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

OH! MY! GOD! I adore this poem! Grinning all the way through like a coyote! The artificial knees and vicious veins......the longing for those old climbing days......and especially stepping in dog shit just before we cross over. Yup. That's about it. I know I will enter the afterlife cackling!

Brian Miller said...

no one can step up until they stand up....there are a lot of great one liners in this g....the kill zone at sea level as well....lots to like here brother...

Laurie Kolp said...

Oh, dear... this cracked me up!

Peggy said...

I enjoyed this Glenn despite those sad truths which I too am familiar with! It is good to know we are not alone!!

humbird said...

Interesting read! Life in progress...

SaraV said...

Oh Glenn, you really made me laugh!! That stanza about the kill zone being at sea level about did me in. :-) I dig, I dig...especially Zeppelin *wink*