Thoughts of Dolomiti

As I prepare to leave on my next adventure, a canoe trip in northern Saskatchewan,  my mind drifts to Italy and the via Ferrata I experienced with my husband and friends; the inspiration for the following poem.

I spring from the blanket
eyes circle the forest
my mind reaches out to the horizon
where a distance strains
above tree tops
steel cables follow
a line
ready for the high course

Dolomiti tower before me
a north wind blows
in a rush
I drag bruised legs
over jagged dusty rocks
carabiner clicks
count the path upward

suddenly I see a raven
black wings glint as she soars
my bandana waves
I lunge to the left
in my mind
I am Icarus
on my way to the sun

The Moment by Margaret Atwood

treesonhill

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.