Written by: Richard Bates

Long paths that wind along
no direct lane to arrive
like jazz that improvises song
I wander onward as I strive

onto trails that curl and jell
steering me against my will
my hope is still fed by this hell
craving heat led by the chill

What are these courses that meander?
mountain's rock forcing direction
rough terrain, nature's commander
shepards each chance for selection

curving treks that bend no where
like winds take sails to distant seas
survival stretched to needs I can't bear
forcing stress... destroying ease

Thus, I beg grace to escort fact
thru suffering on these endless routes
each trial, test, and learning act
is teaching truth in twisting bouts

If I arrive before I get there,
Do I go and travel on?
All this pain is peace's cab fare
the chaffeur change thru where I've gone

When on stay, what do I choose?
Should I try if forced to lose?
Is this verity drawing good toward it?
Or am I lost far from my summit??