I watch you from the second floor
I greet you this morning with
voice thrown into the winter wind
and back inside.
you kept walking
into snow and ice
into fog and gone.
I wait for you from the second floor
hours have passed before your return.
How was your day? Wet…
Last night I named a star after you.
Across the fjord, near the valley
deep in the ocean, above the
horizon – your star.
we must leave quickly… our time has become short.
Do you feel my hand?
How was your day? Frozen…
The other night I dreamt,
I finally remembered a dream
with flying, fog swirling into mist
an updraft gathers snow and
everything becomes white, even
the crystal blue horizon disappears
and I fly with eyes closed.
Did you know your star lives
in the acquarius constellation?
Each morning greeted when
I look through the open flap.
How was your day? Exhausting…
The climb abrupt.
The clock stopped.
The mountain haunting.
I remember main street back home.
Carol’s cafe and blueberry pie
we held hands across the checkered table
set with paper napkins and plastic utensils
and talked of dreams, desires
the absolute fight to leave here
and consume the morsels we have read about
to find maps with no ink.
Where are you?
I heard something, I thought was ice
but there is inches of new snow on the tent
the makeshift restroom hidden
the eclipse has moved west
you are not home.
Should I move? I heard a chime or alarm.
When I moved to look outside it stopped.
My god the sunrise has
scorched everything orange, the
snow is painted orange and
the sky flames dance in
-40 degree air.
Where are we together? Empty hands
searching the air.
We made it.
5 responses to “Poem – Oxygen”
Absolutely gorgeous William. Loved this ~ flowing and intriguing!! ~ x RL
Robyn, thank you my friend. I was not sure how this poem would be read, or if it made sense. It’s based generally off mountaineering, and from stories I read from a book written by a mountaineer in the 70s and 80s.
An extraordinary poem. There is a sense of the mysterious, the awesome, running through the lines. And of course oxygen is in short supply at high altitude … there is something sensed that is absent, missing.
Thank you John for your kind words. This piece was inspired in part form reading “The Crystal Horizon” by Reinhold Messner. It chronicles his solo ascent of Mt. Everest without oxygen.
Sometimes it takes extreme courage, and doing whatever it takes to survive, or just giving in to the primal survival instincts that are within.