On Mweelrea

 
I am climbing Mweelrea with my teeth.
The lightning of hunger flashes
from my blank eyes. One piece of grass
leads to another. Waves lead
the island of the bright cow to pasture
beyond Blacksod Bay. My twitching
ear to the ground takes what should be
 
its pulse, keener than glaciers,
deeper than fjords: the thunder is all
but audible. Days under wind
on a one-in-one slope I have you,
mountain, by your long grass root:
shake me off your back and you
will tumble into the sea and be lost.
 
A mountain with sheep on its crown
is higher than any map allows,
but no foot passes my threshold
of cloud. I will reach the summit
and never have raised my eyes.
I will reach the summit and sink
gently into the roof of the sky.
 

from A Nest on the Waves (Gallery Press, 2010), © David Wheatley 2010, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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