The High Peaks

after the blood-beat
of 10,000 trochaic breaths 

it must be asked 
is not a gale coursing along 

the fractured fringes of a ridge
with its serrated fins flared out 

not some aeolian wind 
sent by the gods to haunt 

the spindly spires 
and gnarled notches 

of glacial-carved 

just as those atmospheric currents
swirled around the dragon-like

forces forming cirque 
after cirque

eons ago
along the continental divide

with it’s ghostly moan 
that’s almost human 

—they say such winds
whirl around the whorls 

of the flute pan dropped 
while leaving Earth for a spell

somewhere on a flank
of The Two Guides

a keyboard
they call it

and if the tones 
ever find the right frequency

the whole spine of the rockies 
just might shiver awake 

for a few seconds
reminding us 

why a palpable power purrs
from mountains who are asleep 

Apache Peak in June

arriving near the basin
of the cirque’s bowl

at dawn
peaks and spires

and massive juts
of jagged black rock

the stillness of snow
gushing all around

as if the lower jaw
of a sea dragon

just broke
the surface

the froth seething
among those pointed peaks

even so—

at 13,000 feet

in the middle
of a snow couloir

by the crunch

of ice axe

and trochaic

a lady bug—

a lady bug

a little soul
poised on prismatic ice

before a tarsal claw
clamped another crystal

and another
as if waiting

for a thermal updraft
to parachute

into the vault