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Hannington Mumo. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.
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I SET OFF ON AN AMBITIOUS JOURNEY
I set off on an ambitious journey;
Several years gone I embarked on a travel
To a beautiful destination miles away,
And I did not know the paths very well.
I thought it would take a year or two
To reach that much-desired end,
But it’s a whole seven years now
And I’m still trekking, friend.
I knew other littler destinations
That mortals of softer tissues chose,
But those I counted not manly enough,
For their easy reach, and being boring close.
And while they finished their journeys
And sat to receive cheap medals from men their kind,
I still did the tricky roundabouts and travelled on
Till sometimes the path became too blurred to find.
I might be wrong and I might be right
To hazard such a full-size risk upon my little life,
But these journeys have their stern immutable code
Once you set off, you must finish despite the strife.
I could be lost and I could be right on track,
But now it’s too late to worry or cry.
The path I took has no places to turn
And one must trudge ahead until they die.
And unlike other commoner voyages
Where one may other wayfarers find,
Here one walks alone and alone
Without turning to look behind.
There are no water spots beside the road
To sate the traveler’s long-borne thirst.
Nor are there any snack joints near
To quell the pangs of the journeyer cursed.
One moves and moves without rest
Until they either reach the prescribed end,
Or die at some fiddly portion of the road,
Such as a sharp corner or an unexpected bend.
The chances of failure are all-time high
And those of triumph near-nil bro,
No congrats for simple feats
The kind that softer men applaud with awe.
With all my woes faithful friends will wonder
What in history shall become of me.
I desire no laurels for nerve or raw bravery
Nor some posthumous honorary degree.
A simple epitaph befitting a demented traveler
Will suffice for a restless man like me:
“He Took the Road That Many Dreaded”.
And on my head plant an evergreen tree.
A nonentity I lived:
Ignoring all the risks that others could see;
A nonentity I’m prepared to die:
My only mourners an epitaph and a tree.