Ascenders' Endgame

A world ago, it all hung low:
great expectations, chance.
So slightly I envisioned life
across this great expanse.

Along the route, met Sisyphus,
and others who should fail
because the distance dashed their hearts
with doubts they would not scale.

The path behind, in retrospect,
ranged easier to run,
with rarely any stones or snaps,
and beautified by sun.

But, every year, the slopes increased.
Cold barriers appeared,
and then perceptions' barricades
- until sense commandeered.

Past time and math, I quested ways
to edge ahead or leap,
and soon it glared apparently:
how most walk wide asleep.

Awakening to who we were
- all we might ever be -
I began to understand,
believe, and then could see

"impossible" was largely fog
between a mind and sky.
Unlearning iron instincts fast
empowered thoughts to fly.

Like Icarus, but sharper yet,
I winged on from my maze,
and somehow knew to heed my height,
not lose my sight in rays.

Within the light, it's easiest,
supposing goals will shine,
and then, when evenings bring the dark,
how shadows undermine.

No longer gulled or underdog,
I play the hero, wise,
and hope to lift all others up
and help them know to rise.

Astonishing, to reach this point,
but, if we're honest, far's
the mileage we must strive tonight
to soar among our stars.

Ascenders, assemble!

Ascenders' Endgame © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

View this poem at

"Know That You're Amazing" challenge prompt - link:

This poem, among other things, is somewhat of a response to the superheroic tendencies many persons expect to find only solely comics or films.  Here, within this poem, we are not talking about fictional "Avengers" of comic book proportions but rather real-life "Ascenders" who, in their hearts, wish to be identified, to assemble, and to ascend, once they learn to overcome their own illusions and boundaries and begin to aspire to helping themselves and others after realizing and developing those mortal yet super-heroic powers to be found and freed, for the good of all, in some form or another, in every one of us.
Submitted: September 9, 2019