On Top of Mt. Salty

Word that a new topographical map of the sea floor has revealed the existence of thousands of mountains rising from the bottom of the world’s oceans sent me scurrying to the local tavern, where I found Trail Baboon poet laureate Schuyler Tyler Wyler in his usual spot in the dark recesses at the back of the establishment, once again trying to extinguish the tragic flame of disappointment which burns at the center of his tormented soul.

He greeted me as he always does, with these words:

“Go away. I have no poems.”

This is a self-defeating theme for S.T.W., who believes he was born 100 years too late, long after Americans stopped appreciating poems that rhyme.

“Every possible word combination has been tried already,” he whined. “I have arrived at the scene too late, just like an explorer who discovers his mountain has been climbed.”

But when I told him that there were now thousands of new mountains that haven’t been seen or conquered, he brightened up. When I commissioned a few lines of verse to commemorate the discovery, he positively beamed. And when I paid him half the total as an advance, he immediately used the money to buy three more drinks so he could get to work.

A giant lurks beneath the waves – a monument to time.
As stately as a mansion and as as silent as a mime.
I see its summit shimmer – such a distant, lonely place.
I resolve to face this monster and to climb it to its base.

Every mountain is a challenge to go where no one has been.
So the brave heart makes provision – boots, a backpack and a fin,
and with stiff determination not to falter, fail or drown
the adventurer approaches and proceeds to scale it down!

On the summit of Mt. Salty I’m exuberant. I brag.
On the pinnacle of Salty I have placed my simple flag.
I drink in the scene around me as I relish my moment,
then embark upon the process of a swift, controlled descent.

As I climb it becomes darker. It gets colder as I go.
But I’m grateful it’s not windy and there isn’t any snow.
With each step I feel the pressure to achieve this mountain’s root.
Do I have the strength and courage to ascend it to it’s foot?

It is nighttime on the mountain when I make my little camp,
I am tired but determined. In my tent, it’s rather damp.
As I close my eyes I see how I’ll defeat this pile of slag.
At the bottom of Mt. Salty I’ll look up to see my flag.

But my sleep is so unsettled. I’m untethered and alone.
I am tossed about in waves of doubt and buffeted by foam.
In my dreams I feel I’m floating far away from what I seek.
When I wake, I see my banner – far below me, at the peak!

What’s your mountain?

57 thoughts on “On Top of Mt. Salty”

  1. when you climb down to the mountain and start up on the top
    and ten continue going toward the bottom without a stop
    my question is a simple one is has to do with place
    are you ascending or descending reaching apex or the base

    Liked by 2 people

  2. dale i think tyler wyler schyler has nailed your birthday poem. what is is that is truely dale? a statley submeerged mountain with peaks yet unscathed.
    i saw joyce carol oates the other night and she shed some serious praise on the mystery of dreams and the quasi surrealism that surrounds the hard fast elements of the dream. everything is solid and correct but in an odd light. kinda like life. kinda like our alpha baboon.
    dale have you thought about dream anaylasis therapy?
    didnt mean to hurry you along to your 60th on sherrilees entry earlier this morning
    happy 59th


  3. Good morning. I think my to do list is my mountain. That list is too long and it isn’t even complete. There are things that should be on the list which I am trying to ignore. It isn’t actually a written list. Some of it is down on paper, the rest is in my head.

    We have been in our new house for more than six months and still haven’t found time to get completely unpacked and to get everything arranged properly. The new house is in fairly good shape. However, there are a large number of home improvements that we would like to complete. Then there is all of the gardening and landscaping work that I would also like to complete.

    Of course, there are many other things, not directly related to our recent move, that I would like to get done which I will not even attempt to list here.


    1. Hey all! I’m a list maker a well…but I like to put mine in writing, so that it’s not in my brain. I like to make them with fancy fonts and graphics. And sometimes I don’t even print them off – just having made the list gets it out of my mind. I have a lovely list for this weekend that hasn’t been printed off, but I’ve done more than half of it already!


  4. my personal mountain is the world at large.
    i decided to start my day watching my favorite movie this morning.
    here is a quote i love that sums it up

    Veta Louise Simmons: I took a course in art last winter. I learnt the difference between a fine oil painting, and a mechanical thing, like a photograph. The photograph shows only the reality. The painting shows not only the reality, but the dream behind it. It’s our dreams, doctor, that carry us on. They separate us from the beasts. I wouldn’t want to go on living if I thought it was all just eating, and sleeping, and taking my clothes off, I mean putting them on…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago, my mother used to say to me, she’d say “In this world, Elwood, you can be oh so so smart, or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart… I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

    or maybe more to the bottom line

    I have wresteld with reality for 59 years and im glad to say i have finally won over it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The mountain l’m trying to climb is overcoming a complete lack of energy and stamina. The back story as to why is that half a year ago, l was banned from the one dance venue l’ve been to every week end for a decade because l’d told the owner that it was overcrowded. Unluckily for me, a bunch of cop cars showed up a few minutes later and l was accused of being the person who called them.

      l didn’t even know l was banned until l went to dance a week later and was barred from entering. l tried again two weeks later. Each time l was humiliated by bursting into tears, l called, sent emails, lined up friends to tell the owner that l had not called anyone, much less the cops. l even got a statement from the local cops saying no one from the bar had called that night. l copied my cell phone invoice as well.

      Nothing done or said budged him a bit. And so, the ban went on for the last half year. Two weeks ago, l finally found the courage to drop in and talk with him. l actually pleaded to be allowed back in. Reluctantly, he gave in, saying, “You’d better behave yourself!”

      Over six months, lost 90% of my energy, spirit, stamina and joy. l lost weight. l lost a significant chunk of my identity as l’ve been long since dubbed “The Dancing Grandma”. l felt like a pariah. Making this even more painful was the fact that l’d done nothing to deserve this sentence.

      When l finally returned just last night, l quickly discovered that my energy level was shot to hell. Rather than joyfully dancing for 3-4 hours without even sitting down, l lasted 20 minutes, then came back home.

      l’m determined to recover from this very large loss and climb this mountain again, but it may be too steep………we’ll see.


      1. How about putting on some good music and dancing in your living room, Cb? Just ten minutes or so, daily, until you build up more stamina. You’ll be back in shape in no time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. get an eliptical and do the walking while you are dooing other stuff. its not about dancing its about getting your stamina up and the eliptical will allow an adjustemnt in tension(difficulty) and you cna go 30 seconds 30 minutes or whatever you want , while you read , watch tv. read the paper or whatever. in 6 months if you arent in shape its because you screwed up.
        saw one on groupon for 329 delivered today. i think i have starter at my warehouse if you want to try it before you invest.
        say yes and ill bring it over next week


      1. I am , now a day late it appears – hopefully not a dollar short – in wishing Dale heartiest felicitations of the day. I hope there are grand birthday celebrations throughout the week.


  6. Only real mountain is shedding 35 #s. Other challenges are more like foothills – making sure my mom is as comfortable as possible, keeping a lid on the clutter and maybe clearing out some.

    A mountain of raking and other yardwork is on its way, but we don’t have the usual mountain of food to be processed – no juicing apples as it’s an “off” year, and quantities are down in the garden (critters and ? the weird weather) so no canning/freezing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I keep staring at that same mountain – shedding about 30 lbs. Can’t get myself past the foothills. It’s frustrating – I know what I need to do, but just can’t get myself to make the climb.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, my!

    I usually find Schuyler Tyler Wyler funny. This poem, however, scares me. I’m unsettled by the image of climbing and climbing in a descent, for that too accurately seems to describe Life. We climb and climb but only lose altitude by doing so.

    Maybe my problem is that I have paid too much attention to the fuss in the media about that current Atlantic article, the one that explains how the author doesn’t want to live past 75. That’s not a distant date for me. I’d like to dismiss the article, but I agree with all of it (except maybe the conclusion). Let’s just say that the conclusion is scary, as conclusions often are, especially that most conclusive of all conclusions, the conclusion of self.

    The phrase “bucket list” used to amuse me. No more. I feel like I’m in a huge field of uneven ground in which there are thousands of buckets I should kick before I, ummm, kick the bucket. But it is so tiring to get to them and then when I go to kick I lose balance and fall in a heap. I’d love to climb up now and plant a flag with defiant vitality, but when I try it feels like my climbing days are behind me. Gravity beckons.


    1. l read that article, too, and really resented his choice of “75”. At 50, 70 seemed old; at 60, 80 seemed old. Unfortunately, it still does!! Gone are the days when aging keeps adding another 20 years to my present age, especially after last week when attending a ‘seniors” workout class. Surrounded by 80-90 year old women, l couldn’t keep up with the workout at all.


  8. My birthday song for ya’ll. Was reminded of it watching Silver Linings Playbook last night on Netflix. Astounding!



  9. My mountains seem to involve money. First it was student loans.

    About the time those were gone, it was time to take on a mortgage. Some people play games like Angry Birds or Candy Crush- I play with numbers on mortgage payoff calculators.

    Good thing I travel light. I’d hate to be scaling this mountain with a monkey on my back.


  10. my mountain has been geting my new business upa nd running.
    givcuz is my new fundraising thing for nonprofits and organazations. it has been my mountain for the last 4 years and i just got the keys t the jeep this week. i am going to be running up mountain from early til late for the forseeable future and loving it.
    i have had the visualazation in my brain for the longest time now i have the tools to pull the trigger.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I suspect my mountain has to do with taking on more than I am capable of handling. And thinking that I can do things that I really don’t have a talent for. I would be just fine if I had a little less confidence in my own abilities.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I came up with a couple mountains: Deer Mtn in Rocky Mtn Nat Park and Harney Peak in the Black Hills. Hiked both last summer with daughter, and Harney Peak again this summer but with both daughters. Exhilarating at the summit – air is crisp, views are stunning, and the packed trail mix is oh so welcomed.

    Metaphorical mountain is my resistance to self discipline. What do ya do?


  13. i really like mountains. when i was a kid i jumped in theoold vw van and headed for the canadian rockies. they blew my face off. i stopped in salt lake city to pick up a friend and loved the roickkies around there. im not sure ive ever met a mountain i didnt like but the canadian rockies are something else. i need to get there again soon. the banff mountains are like wow thats the most beautiful mountain ive ever seen. then you go around the corner and its like the most beautiful mountain ive ever seen then you go around the nextcorner and wow thats the most beautiul mountain ive ever seen then you go to jasper and its like the most rugged moonscape version of the most incredible mountain ive ever seen then i get to the campsite that is my favorite spot on the planet and the most sublime beautiful spot i can think of.
    its hard to leave. i love banff jasper. if i get to claim a mountain, ill take those.
    i really need to get back there.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Happy Belated Birthday, Dale! Sorry to have missed it…I was completely absorbed at the Fairgrounds helping out with the comic convention. Hope it was fab!


  15. Happy birthday weekend, Dale! I hope you had a grand celebration!

    My mountain? Money…or, to be more precise, lack of it.


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