Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"On Climbing Mt. Snowdon"

I walked the coast, those smooth round stones my trial of ember.
An ocean baptized me, accepted my tears with waves and tides.
I crawled pregnant hills,
listened to the stories stirring deep in ancient caves
safeguarded by crumbling stone kings.

Windswept and raw like a beet,
I screamed
when I found myself tangled
in the roots of the mountain.
Here, my tears were foreigners in the cold brown earth.

As I climbed, I
lost my bones, my breath, my flesh,
the mist of my strength struggled up, up, up-
It got stuck
on frozen waterfalls,
on pikes of icicles.
And when the spirit reconvened
by the glassy gray lake
it feared being trapped in woolly white clouds.
Shapeless, it tumbled off the path.

There was the stern glare of the Man of the Mountain,
his eyes, nose etched in stone
and thin-lined mouth of water
frowning as he gurgled and he groaned,
“Get up!”

My howling legs obeyed
over the razor-rock path
where the mountain sheep bathed in sunlight.

I climbed till the mountain birds
swooped at my face
voices whispered warnings,
whimpered, “Fool!”

I climbed ‘til I almost believed them
AND THEN I reached the peak.

A snow globe world whirred,
birds landed subserviently.

It was an ending
dimly lit doorways
and sober choices.

For a moment,
a pause.

Oceans bowed to me,
Continents shrank,
Clouds fled from me,
And the Mountain sank
to its knees

with me,
all the way.

This is my third entry for the West Coast Eisteddfod poetry contest. Have I mentioned I'm so excited about the West Coast Eisteddfod? Even though I can't be there, the fact that there is such a large passionate group of Cymru-philes in the states makes me very, very happy!

The link application doesn't seem to be working right now, so here's where you can check out the contest:

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