Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 8 -- On Top of the World


  1. I’d like to leave an imprint
    on the world, in the sand,
    something that could harden,
    become part of the thin veneer,
    the sedimentary rocks.

    But the sign says, “leave no trace.”
    And when I reach the top, the crazy wind
    moves all the dust except
    what remains firm under my feet.
    The difference between breathing air
    and becoming an impression
    is wafer thin, transparent almost.

    Most mountains hold few fossils.
    They shed them like skin, erode them like habit.
    The human instinct is to climb to the highest peak,
    pick off the glints of briars, the silences and regrets,
    and watch them fall. But they never land solid anywhere.

    When I start back down the trail, my footprints
    are half gone before I’ve disappeared.
    As each foot thuds the forest floor,
    the landscape rushes up and swallows me.
    Time likes to save soft things, proofs of what she couldn’t say.
    I’m waiting as fast as I can.

    1. oh do i love that ending. "time likes to save soft things...." nice.

    2. Yeah, "I'm waiting as fast as I can." That's beautiful! Wonderful piece!

  2. The Jungfrau versus the World Trade Center

    Not a fair comparison because
    Of the inevitable mourning of those 2
    Truly ugly buildings, but there it is —
    On one hand — the vertiginous feel of being on the roof
    Of that big white tombstone (even then it
    Felt deadly, to be honest) and on the other
    Hand —
    Standing on top of the mountain with
    You in Switzerland. We weren’t getting along
    At that moment but the air was brilliant cold clean and fresh—
    I was so thin then too — I can see myself close to perfect in the pictures
    That you took. I looked out shivering over jagged snowy peaks—
    The home of frankenstein’s creature, although I didn’t
    Know that yet. Hadn’t read the book. Things felt
    Possible, light, and my feet felt planted on solid ground
    Even if that earth was stuck way high in the air.
    Compare that with my nausea on top of the center
    With the french friends exclaiming over the view.
    I had to go back inside and get on the elevator —
    Which took forever. It’s a dangerous building my dad
    Said even in the 80’s. You can’t get down fast enough.
    We lingered at the Jungfrau for hours despite the wind,
    Munching chocolate watching the clouds hurtle past
    Sensing the world persistent, safe, though distant, underneath
    bearing us up, keeping us still.

    1. I love the complexity of the moment and the emotions here. A really and truly beautiful poem!

  3. The Kites of Sespe

    Wind rushes through the canyon
    the dust billows and churns around me
    a terracotta landscape, unmoved
    though distant brush sways and flutters

    A black speck appears on the horizon
    Coasting on the fast moving ribbons of air
    it grows in mass, as it draws closer
    cutting the sky with nine foot wings

    It's joined by another flyer
    they embark on an aerial dance above me
    swooping and looping, dipping and diving
    the Fred & Ginger of the atmosphere

    They are close enough to see their faces
    naked and red, leathered by the sun
    patches of white against gleaming black feathers
    and talons left over from the age of dinosaurs

    Pumping those massive wings, they rise
    catching another invisible current in the sky
    endangered, beautiful, dangerous and majestic
    the kites of Sespe soar

    1. Love this poem and I love love love your use of language!

  4. The green Point

    There use to be a cabin
    where we would go for
    family reunions and
    just get away from
    the hustle and bustle

    There use to be a walk we took
    down from the back porch to the
    cleared out area a half mile down
    through the trees and forest

    It was called the green point
    We would take that hike and see
    the veiw into the San Bernardino Valley
    This was our cabin until the fire came and
    they had to use the highway going up as a
    fire break

    One time, when we took the walk to look down
    into the valley below, we could see the smog level
    and you could actually see a line where the smog
    met fresh air. As the years rolled by, we could
    see this smog line get higher and higher
    as if the whole basin was filling up and coming
    to where we were retreating to in the safe zone

    But, the smog was only a part of why we felt
    above it all and on top of the world
    We use to enjoy the cabin at Lake Arrowhead
    with our dad. My two sisters and I were on top
    of the world when it came to being with him

    He saved us from the coyote that wandered to the
    point while we were hiking down there
    He threw some rocks at it and scared it
    away. Later, I realize the coyote would have
    grabbed one of us younger and slower prey
    for a meal and taken us away

    Our dad saved us
    He was king of the world
    and we were his precious subjects
    He never knew he was the king
    but he was
    On top of the world
    to us

    1. Great poem man. I love the discussion of your dad!

    2. very interesting. some great moments. and a compelling story, for sure.

  5. top of the world

    my last vacation
    as a single man
    (though I didn’t know it)

    camping in the
    Angeles National Forest

    this was when
    you could drive
    up Highway 39 to
    Angeles Crest Highway

    I set up my tent
    got out my food
    and my stack of books

    two weeks alone
    I was good at
    ignoring my
    camping neighbors

    one day I took
    a hike up the
    trail to the
    back of the mountains

    spent the day
    at the top
    of the mountains

    the desert at
    the back of
    the mountains
    in full view

    that was it
    I was ready to
    come back down

    finish my vacation
    reading my books
    in my front yard

    1. Love it. I just went up to Crystal Lake recently and it was dry!

    2. "that was it" -- great energizing shift of perspective.

  6. alone inside
    my mind
    eyes open

    closed to
    around me

    inside me

    in my

  7. Thomas I like the first one a lot, the ending signals a change the speaker seems ready for but doesn't know it fully yet. Nice!

    1. Thanks, I may just need to clean it up a bit on the middle.

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    4. It becomes a mood thing. The second one shows how I am on a closed mindset, and I'm not pleased with any of my work. If wrangled well a negative mindset can result in really good work.

  8. Better late than never? Admittedly these last two prompts have caught me in a down time. I hope my mood isn’t contagious.

    At the Top

    At this elevation my
    Body quivers and melts
    Like the last of the snow.
    I gulp every thin gust of air
    (It always runs out.)
    I dance with others and
    Spy on those who live
    Atop the high mountain.
    The other shoe drops and
    Signals a downward spiral.
    I recognize others
    (Ignored on my way up)
    As they await the next updraft.
    I take my place at the
    Back of the line and
    Glimpse the sunset.

    Carole Avila

  9. San Diego

    The San Diego Wild Animal Park
    makes me laugh.
    Okay, rather, the thought of
    Or concept of such a place
    combined with the memory of visiting there,
    is terribly, terribly funny, even hilarious.

    I've always wanted to ride a real hot air balloon,
    a beautiful one like
    they have in New Mexico.
    But, I got a cheap imitation.
    I got to ride the hot air balloon that rises
    Several hundred feet in the air at the park.
    That was fun.
    I felt so high in the air
    Almost void of fear.
    It was a humble and adorable gift.
    At least I got to go on the ride.
    I'm sure as lot of families dont get to,
    And have to walk by it apologizing to their children and themselves.
    So I should be thankful for my time on top of the world...
    I did get to see it afterall.

    1. Ha! I'm so scared of heights myself, I never see these things!

    2. You're scared of heights?! That's really too bad. The higher the better for me, I love heights...such an adrenaline rush, its very exhilarating and beautiful.