Alessio Zanelli

Climbers poem
Enrosadira (‘turning point’ in Ladin) on Campanile e Cima di Val di Roda, Trentino, Italy


Misty-footed further off, they cast their tops
up in the sky—gold slivers on lapis lazuli.
And yet they’re wholes—there are no parts,
no discontinuities. They’re huge and grand.
Young but primal, transcendent standers—
most pure and perfect absolutes. Monoliths.
Fixed out there for us to win or be won by.

There is no escape—we have to tackle them,
surmount their heads and possess that blue.
Yes, once come this far it’s all we’re left to do
to make things right. It’ll take our best—then,
no hesitation. The solid sun of dawn has just
begun to smash against their summit walls.
We must be going, we must meet verticality.

Resplendent heights will not keep frozen long.

First published in Jupiter (UK)