“Mount Jericho” Poem by Joel McKerrow

MOUNT JERICHO

by Joel McKerrow, spoken word poet from Australia

joelmckerrow.com

I have been running recently,
everyday, head first around this mountain near our home.
Only its not a mountain,
it’s a giant’s belly rotund and laid down to rest.
Only its not a giant either,
it is a rubbish tip, was a rubbish tip, once.
I run twice the two mile round trip
on the track around the edge of that old rubbish dump.
A mountain of the waste of humanity piled high
and eaten now
by a sleeping giant.
I run around and around, the giant heaving beside me,
his belly always on my left, always rumbling,
I have learnt more from this pile of rubbish than any other in my life.
When the rubbish dump was closed the council covered it in soil,
let green grass grow till it covered the decomposition occurring underneath.
The animals come to feed here.
Everyday that I run this track I am reminded,
of my own mountain of waste and decomposition, the one that lies underneath.
I am reminded that on top of it all grows green grass, a fertile soil.
Rich because of the decomposition, not in spite of it.
Life comes out of the death of so much, the animals come to feed here.
How much on these runs would I love to find a finish line,
how much a reward, a prize for my efforts, something more
than just the normality of life that waits to greet me.
Yet, everyday, toward the end of my run I climb the the path as it curls upward around the mountain until I am standing atop its heights.
I know, though there is no finish line, but this is prize enough,
this is fortune, this is reward, this is the reason, this is an ending and a beginning, this

is all that matters…to stand atop that which once was the waste of my life.

The race has been run, today it was a cold race and a lonely one too. It is Easter weekend and a fitting time to realize that death is only ever a lonely beginning, that waste is too a rebirth, that rubbish dumps are places of resurrection.
I stand atop my conquered giant, hold his head in my hands, I dance there, on the mountain, I know who I am and the reason that I run, this is enough,
until I turn the corner, run back down the hill and run around again and again.

The other day
I managed to run five times around her,
ten miles straight.
I called her my Jericho
and she let her walls
come
tumbling
down

(Background picture from artist Wes Bruce- thecuriouslife.us)

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