A Great Adventure Unfinished

Twisting and turning over and under --
More mysterious than lightening and thunder --
I crawl through a tunnel of orange shining light,
Up to a crow's nest of far seeing sight;
My friends scramble up eagerly behind
And we see shadowy figures of a strange kind
In the far, distant dark green wood
Approaching fast our neighborhood.

We let out a raucous hoot
And turn down a windy route
Across bridge and over net
To our fort's deck and parapet.
I wrestle control for the best seeing place
And focus in on one mysterious face --
Is it good or bad, ugly or sweet?
When they arrive what will I meet?

We scramble down the slick spiral slide
To the next lower level towards the far side
Into a plastic room of bubble portals
And up a ladder amid our chortles
To an upper room of carved gargoyles --
Split tongues, pointed ears, and full of boils --
Through that haunt we scampered up stairs
Into a maze of translucent geodesic squares;
Up and up, through and through we wound
Into the open air exposed without a single bound,
And there not far away in the next room
We faced the strange faces of our doom.

A great abyss stood between here and there,
Only a tightrope bridged the spacious air;
Never and no way could we meet those
Who were our adventure's incognitos
If we would not tread that narrow tightrope
And chance the fall with ne'er a hold to grope.

I could climb and wind back to the ground
Onto sure terra firma, the rope confound.
But I know that because I walked there
Across safely and certainly and did not dare,
When I climb into that far away room
I would find naught but dull and stale doom.

©1991, John A. Mills