China-focused Satire, Social Commentary, Comics and More

Stronger, Swifter, Higher, Faster


Totally Awesome Picture of the Week 29


Men in sport coats.
Men climbing blindly.
Men grasping the railing.
which guides and supports.
Up stairs.
Stairs to the top.
Stairs made by men.
Stairs narrow in direction.
A direction as firm as the stairs themselves.

Stronger, Swifter, Higher, Faster
Stronger, Swifter, Higher, Faster

The men repeat
Until the words lose their meaning
And the sound becomes a drone
Audible only to those from elsewhere
who pass on the left.
Coming down, they say, is much nicer.
Why do you climb, they ask.
Coming down is really much better.
The men know,
Those from elsewhere bring only trouble,
Trouble and questions.
Don’t answer,
or the trouble will answer you.

What if, those antagonizers from elsewhere ask,
there is no top.
What if, they ask, these stairs
continue forever to nowhere.

The climbing men keep their hands on the railing.
If I climb, the men know, if I persevere,
I will earn my reward.
I know this because the stairs exist.
They are so they will be climbed.
By doing the stairs the favor of climbing,
they will reward me when I reach their top.

Those antagonists say, I have seen the top,
I am much happier going down.
But the men know they must climb.
And they become heavier and heavier
on the back of the stairs.

The stairs moan and creak and
those from elsewhere hurry off.
And the drone continues as the men
strive and stride and grasp at the railing.

Stronger, Swifter, Higher, Faster
Stronger, Swifter, Higher, Faster

When the dust clears the men are still climbing,
Their knuckles white, curled around the railing.
Those from elsewhere watch in disgust
as the men step on each other.
Sport coats stained,
heads bowed,
The men continue their steady, blind climb.

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