Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mad White Horses

You can smell it
Before it begins.
Upon deep inhalation,
The cold penetrates,
Seeping into the brain,
Triggering over-awareness.
Now you realize how quiet it is.
And the altitude;

Rolling in the distance
Growing louder
Like thunder!
Like horses accelerating
From a trot
To a gallop!

Fallen on the train tracks.
There is no way out
Of the path of inevitable danger.

Frantically scale down!
They say do not look down
Or else vertigo ensues.
But nothing could strike more fear
Than looking up
And seeing that wall
Of mad white horses
Frantically charging
Full speed ahead!

O, to be enveloped
In that blanket!
That icy small-pox blanket!
Slow, painful death,
Without a friend
To whisper comforting words.
To whisper, to murmur, to talk
To yell, to scream!
It is screaming above you!
Horses!  Laughing!
Screaming with ecstasy!

All there is to see
Is purgatorial white.
But Saint Peter does not
Whisper comforting words,
Or extend his hand.
No one does.

In this backwards place
There is no up or down
Or right or left.
Only cold and white.
Perhaps by chance,
A foot is sticking out
Of the vast whiteness.
Perhaps while you are still alive,
Someone sees it,
And rescues you.
Perhaps, after you die,
Someone sees it,
And gives you a proper funeral.

But then again,
Is a cold, lonely funeral,
Not appropriate for such a
Cold, lonely man?

Why were you on this mountain
By yourself to begin with?
You knew when you began your ascent
That you would not survive the avalanche;
You can smell it before it begins.

1 comment:

zzzandra said...

powerful use of the sensory language in the first stanza!