Climber in a storm

The mountain casts a shadow like a net,
it’s reach as vast as an ocean.
It hauls in the sombre glaciers,
subtle pathways, lapping ridges,
valleys of complacency.

He climbs the mountain into a sky
as clear as a pearl, as blue as the tide,
but if he were to look he’d see the shadow
snare the storm that broils
beyond the horizon.

It lashes the line, reels in its catch
Of stratocumulus and polar blast.
Drags it over the pied du mont
and cuts it loose amidst the towers
of crusted rock and verglace.

Hurl your malice, keen your fury,
strafe his body, ransack his sight,
kidnap his warmth, steal his bearing,
arc the rope until it thrums electric
in his frozen hands

and he knows nothing but to find
safe harbour
and to anchor.