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The Ascent

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I began climbing towards the peak,
Chances of conquering it seemed bleak,
But inspired by the old man’s vision,
I continued on my torturous mission.

A heaven grew on the top, he said,
Formed of the snow and on dreams it fed,
Many had tried to reach it, but had failed,
It was a dangerous storm for any ship that sailed.

Filled with mysterious paths and pristine snow,
The mountain stared haughtily at those below,
Full of determination to break its arrogance,
I climbed on, unafraid of the consequence.

The air around us grew thinner and sparse,
I smiled, knowing it was all a farce.
The mountain was introducing obstacles,
But we had to escape from its tentacles.

Suddenly one of my companions lost his foothold,
He let out a cry frightening even the bold,
Swallowed by the unending mist beneath,
His voice slowly died out, trapped within its sheath.

The others lost heart and began climbing down,
But I could not return defeated to my town,
I had to silence all those doubting voices
Victory was essential to justify my choices.

My beloved was there, awaiting my return,
She had chosen me, a man who didn’t earn,
She went against everyone’s wishes to be with me,
For our future this conquest was the key.

Drawing in a deep breath I continued my ascent,
Memories and hope sharpening my intent,
Clouds of ice grew out of my breath,
My fingers turned cold in anticipation of death.

Hunger and thirst mattered no longer,
My slowing heartbeat only made me stronger,
I became a dead body animated by a will,
My blood flowing like the ink from a quill.

Finally, I saw that the peak was very near,
Mustering my courage and conquering my fear,
I landed wearily in the land of my aspiration,
Proud as if I had found a new nation.

But there was no heaven up there,
Only snow as far as I could stare,
The air blew mercilessly shattering me,
I broke down, uttering a fervent plea.

Then I realized the meaning of heaven,
It was the voyage, not the ocean,
Paradise sprung from my blood and tears,
Its beauty and magnificence allayed my fears.

There, standing radiant was my greatest love,
Dressed in white, pure like a dove,
Her smile washed away my wounds and scars,
Whole I was once again, shining like the stars.

As I was carried away by the gentle wind,
I looked below at those depths that had sinned,
But now they looked back with benevolence,
They were peaceful now with no violence.

Thus began my ascent…

Anirudh Jairam,


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