an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

All Editions

Tarot #07
Tarot #06
Tarot #05
Tarot #04
Tarot #03
Tarot #02
Tarot #01

The Last Abortive Ascent

It is the Fuji-like symmetry
that sends the inexperienced to their deaths
a climb to the summit
seemingly deceptively easy.
On the day I set out on that climb,
no grief saddled our backs
no stones lodged in our shoes
no ominous clouds on the lower slopes of the mountain,
on the day we set out
leaving nothing behind,
nothing on the bed,
no version of myself,
no dream of a summit climb
turning two-thirds the way up
for a doctor’s appointment in Manaia
with Hugh Dugdale
as the other two
made a successful ascent
I remember
the mountain is high in front of me,
as I look back
I have no voice to quantify the height
my knees feel the strain of gravity
the snow is a clerical collar
I am a study of confessions.