Climbers Homeward Bound, by Robert Walton

Climbers Homeward Bound
by Robert Walton

Like friends parting
For uncertain journeys,
Clouds clasp hands on
An autumn moon.

The lake below muses,
On snow’s return,
Its black waters
Deeper than space.

What games we play
With mute mountains,
With moonlit clouds,
With puckish stars.

Check the anchor,
Clip to the rope,
And step into
Night’s granite belly.




Photo: Climbing partner Dave Gregory took it of me some years back.

Process notes: I’ve been caught by night up high a number of times. I try in this poem to convey the mixed feelings this predicament inspires.

Robert Walton is a retired teacher, a lifelong rock climber and mountaineer. His writing about climbing has appeared in the Sierra Club’s Ascent. His novel, Dawn Drums, won the 2014 Tony Hillerman prize.

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