The Reach

Nearing the summit
the air thins and vanishes,
cold, like a lost soul.

Unhinged pendulum:
as your weight swings, one by one
the steel pitons fail.

Your hands clutch, fevered,
at the flailing rope, as if
for a rosary.

As you fall, your arms
stretch out like wings, embracing
the long journey home.


  1. unhinged pendulum--great sound here.

  2. I like the religious undertones of this -- clutching at rosaries, lost souls. Well done.

  3. I much enjoyed these in essence of spirits and souls, strengths grasping..."the journey home"

  4. Anonymous5:42:00 PM

    I like the rosary simile and the free fall journey home, I don't know if the climber survived, was there a safety line, it feels good to be left hanging!

    I also like the numbering, makes it feel like 4 frames in a movie played in slow motion.

  5. Thanks, I'm happy the spiritual undercurrent worked. Good catch with the freeze-frames; numbering also emphasizes that the verses were built to work as standalone haiku.

  6. beautiful words....great insight!

  7. Short link -

  8. not being a rock climber, i had to look up piton...quite a tragic and well told tale...i should have seen the forshadowing in the first haiku. lovely!

  9. This worked really well. I like writing in haiku sets where each should stand alone. Loving mountains as I do I felt the sensations and feared the end. Excellent.


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