FF16: Himalaya

View of Kanchenjunga, third highest mountain in the world, from Sandakphu. [Buy a print]

Winter bores into bone in the deep early

night’s thin shell beaked through by a knock on wood

breath turned visible we emerge

from cocoons a little less beautiful

everything is slow and muted

the frozen air drugs time slurs motion

A stumble to the toilet

the porcelain slick with ice

fumbling through layers

hands thick with gloves and cold and sleep

we are still inside ourselves

locked in by mountain clothes and dark mists

A hand plunges through an ice crust

water scooped up from a blue plastic barrel

begins to warm over a few burning coals

we’ve been told its there

felt its presence for days

now so close

The first glimpse is like a de-railing

the geography of the last two days

now re-wrought by this unveiling

a kingdom, a crown, a mystery part-found

its arc and beauty take my breath away

and rewind history

A boy in his room and a poster on a wall

an image of a rare anywhere

something great and untouchable

adventure’s scale made impossible

yet it is before me now

not close, but close enough to feel its long breath

and hear its deep call


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