Beyond The Clouds

Risking it all

in the earthbound sky


Her summit was calling,

the weather defies


An avalanche beckoned,

one Sherpa was lost


A trek through the death zone,

another one gone


The temperature dropping,

the oxygen sparse


My crampons now heavy

and feeling much worse


To retreat or push on,

the danger the same


All hail Sagarmatha

—still calling my name


(Memories Of Nepal: March, 2021)


People tend to respect, respect,

both given and received


The dignity of every life,

in one-on-one reprieves


People tend to share the joy,

while closeting the pain


Humanity as best displayed

—when we are all to gain


(Austin Park: March, 2021)

The Smallest Pond

Hey there, high school teacher,

your talent to rebuff

but when you try imagining

your focus coarse and rough


Your feelings mostly borrowed,

your words ill-gotten gains

your hours spent in false critique

of someone else’s pain


You’re outclassed high-school teacher,

your envy on display

your pedantry a mocking tone

and pretense on parade


(To Wayne Miller: April, 1967)

Equus Pallidus

The horse was pale,

paler than the light off the mountain

that reflected back in memories long abandoned


Its mane was long,

longer than the struggle to save what

fortune had vehemently denied me twice


The time was short,

shorter than the flashes of history

that hoofprints trampled in the disappearing snow


The trail was closing,

closing on one last intrepid promise

crying out for life amidst a stampede of death



(Valley Forge Stables: March, 2021)


Memories Of Ouray

Nothing about life is impossible,

 viewed while looking up


Nothing about death is reversible,

 viewed while looking down


All in between is contestable,

winds blow North and South


Nothing promised, nothing cursed

—the choice to laugh or frown


(Ouray Colorado: October, 1995)