Featured Poetry

Featured Poetry

Death of a Mountainclimber

I feel the oldness finalize within me,
white as glass chip ice,
and I follow the bone track home.
I am going now.

High, a last climb, a last series
of handgrasps, a last ringing of steel,
a last living above the clouds;
I am going now.

The steeple cliffs sing silently,
reaching (as I’ve always done) higher,
pointing stone Gothic intonations to lead my eyes.
Before, when I reached the top,
the world continued below,
but I had grappled beyond it.
In the past, when I have found my soul,
it was alone on a peak.

Now I am going,
a mourner and a celebrant both.
I pass the last living—the tree line.

The brown rock and the blueburning glacial snow
split the world off from the peaks.
I pass the world to the peak.
Here, alone, I’ll find my soul,
the soul that was never soft-touched
but often knew the love of ice and cold-clawed rock.

Here, alone, I’ll leave my flesh
to tumble with the glacier
and melt its unity below.

9/30/1971

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