Sitting at the Summit

Cable Car Zugspitze 

Sitting at the summit
at the end of it all,
waiting in a cloud,
a fancy shroud,
to wrap me when I fall.

Standing on the summit,
listening for the call.
The echoes won’t rebound
a silenced sound;
circles in a squall.

Kneeling near the summit,
my journey still feels raw;
they said the air’d be clearer here,
that faith would come to conquer fear,
but every design has flaw.

Tottering on the precipice
with nothing clear above
just golden, metal, man-made cross.
clouds like surrender flags of loss,
fate and fear, a hand-in-glove.

Many have stood here before,
perhaps if there’s a future,
many more, but I’m drinking
on the peak, staggering
on the brink, panicking
in disbelief, illness
a relief, too weak
to grasp the
mystique.


Inspired by a cloudy visit to the Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany.

This piece is in response to d’Verse’s challenge “Edges and Fringes.”

Lisa graciously gave us a choice of activities:
1. Write a poem using the word edge;
2. Write a poem that keeps Millikin’s question above in mind.
3. Write a poem using the word fringe;
4. Write a poem from the fringe, however you define it.

30 comments

  1. I can imagine lots of thoughts swirling through your mind up there and looking down on that magnificence.
    Love this reeling end:
    “I’m drinking
    on the peak, staggering
    on the brink, panicking
    in disbelief, illness
    a relief, too weak
    to grasp this
    mystique.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment. There was hardly anyone there that day, as it was too cloudy to get the full view and just a day or two before the closing down of lockdown. I was sitting on a turning point, it felt like. Wish my words could even more adequately describe this edge.

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  2. Amazing. Sounds incredible. I felt a bit that way when I went to Uluru. I didn’t climb it, of course, but just the majesty and mystique of all that history and geology and wilderness. It comes across beautifully in your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I don’t think I ever been that high and to ascend so quickly right at the edge of the outbreak. Definitely felt like a meaningful moment all lost in the clouds.

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    • It’s all rain this weekend, so at least no snow. The alps are magical. The Austrian alps, the cycling there is crazy. People take the lifts up and then fly down the switchback roads.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hopefully by the summer we will all be un-locked-down enough to enjoy them. But even then, we need to take our chances. I once drove to see the Eiger and it was absolutely washed out. A day later, I drove to the Matterhorn and had the most beautiful day you could imagine. The Swiss are very efficient, they keep all their mountains within driving distance 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      • That looks idyllic, apart from the thousand other people there!

        I think I got up to about 70 km/h on my bike – there was one descent locally in particular. Exhilarating, but a knife-edge. But there are no proper mountains around here.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The change in verbs and the breaking of the rhyme scheme at the end make me feel the breathless arrival at the summit.

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  4. I think one lesson of climbing is that you can never foresee what the view will be… I have been climbing when it was foggy almost all the way to the peak only to clear when I reached the summit, and the opposite has happened too… love the way you described the experience, and I love the word precipice

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rob, sorry to hear that. Thank you for reading and commenting. I’ve injured my wrist so it flares up, even when it rains. Have you ever tried Tumeric? It helps keep my wrist from flaring up. All the best to you.

      Like

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