The Prize

With great ambition
he treks the treacherous path
– dangerously close
to the edge of a raging river –
thunderous rapids churning
with the voices of many.
On the opposite bank,
his destination,
described with deliberate detail
in the ramblings of a vagabond,
a gypsy of sorts,
a simply man who seemed
wiser…
through carefully rehearsed stories
and jaunty tales of adventure.
There,… across the river,…
a heralded prize,…
understanding,…
comprehension,…
wisdom,…
perhaps even respect.
So, onward he treks, this
novice to the greater world,
he sets his feet sure,
but hurries his pace –
caution held tightly in both hands,
but forgotten in the taste of this
hallowed journey –
lost in the siren’s song of worldly riches.
Constatnly he searches,
searches for calmer water,
shallow water,
safer water,
– a place to cross –
so he may claim his prize.
Surely he may find his bridge
– soon –
perhaps he could brave the cold water,
perhaps it is not as deep as it seems,
perhaps…
He feels the rush as he is swept
downstream –
battered and bruised against the rocks –
then washed back upon the very same shore.
He staggers to his feet,
his eyes look once more to the opposite bank
– to the mystical ground that holds many secrets –
and realizes,…
it was not the destination
that held the great treasures for him,
… but rather the journey itself.

– Eric W. Hinton
09/23/97

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Poetry and writings