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Daybreak: We Rise (Jagged Peak Palindrome)

by Richard Paez

Daybreak: We Rise (Jagged Peak Palindrome)

I've never climbed a mountain
but the image sticks in my mind –
when I stand, shoulders back,
I can see so high my eyes burn:

I can, I can, I can

I can see so high my eyes burn
when I stand, shoulders back;
but the image sticks in my mind:
I've never climbed a mountain

till now
and now

I climb, I climb, I climb ~

     So many ways to lose your breath
     this far up –
     through such thin air,
     vertigo
     when you look down
     by fingertips hanging,
     death's head grinning,

     and this exhilaration
     is sheer adrenaline:
     your whole world in a glance
     your whole life in your hands
     grip a little tighter
     and laugh into the wind –
     this is what it means to live ~

          – too close to heaven to die,
          so close to heaven we rise –

          this is what it means to live
          and laugh into the wind –
          grip a little tighter
          our whole lives in our hands,
          our whole world in a glance
          is sheer adrenaline:
          and this exhilaration

          death's head grinning,
          by fingers hanging
          when we look down
          vertigo
          through such thin air
          this far up
          so many ways to lose our breath

          this far up
          through such thin air
          vertigo

          and the world spins
          and the world spins
          and the world spins

          so close to heaven

          we rise, we rise, we rise ~

I've never climbed a mountain
but the image sticks in my mind –
when I stand, shoulders back,
I can see so high my eyes burn:

I can see you though my eyes burn:
my sky-high sunrise
bursting into day:
you take my breath away.


~~~

for Kim

06/25/2010

Posted on 06/26/2010
Copyright © 2019 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Linda Fuller on 06/26/10 at 04:06 PM

I love this - actually felt a little vertiginous reading it - the form really works.

Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 06/26/10 at 07:21 PM

I was going to compliment the form as well. In some places it's terrific straightforward poetry, and in others it strikes a really well done lyrical tone. All of it equals out to one of your best, man. Really nice.

Posted by Rob Littler on 11/10/18 at 08:47 AM

reads like an opera to me, the voice, the most stereotypical opera you know, because I am ignorant, but it is the same opera i hear when i too am gripping the rock tight, pushing past the awe, and later...remembering just getting out of bed is defying death too...

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