izabela 23 licensed
C L I M B I N G
by Robert Lima

I see myself climbing,
not the Matterhorn, not
Picos de Europa, not
Kilimanjaro, nor the
highest peak of all —
Mount Everest . . .

I see myself climbing
Huayna Picchu in Perú,
teat of the Inca world
with its milk of mist.

It is set higher than its
sister Machu Picchu and
offers aerial vistas of the river
Urubamba and the deep valleys.

I see myself climbing its
steep inclines, foot upon foot,
clinging to the rock face
as bits dislodge in karmic fall
into the waiting precipice.

I see myself climbing, fear and
tremor at each step of the steep
ascent, ever reaching higher
to attain the mountain’s sacred self.

PHOTO: At nearly nine thousand feet above sea level, Huayna Picchu (center) overlooks Machu Picchu, the so-called “Lost City of the Incas.” (Photo by Izabela 23, used by permission.)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Huayna Picchu is a mountain in southern Peru that rises over Machu Picchu, a 15th century Inca citadel. The Incas built a trail up the side of the Huayna Picchu and erected temples and terraces on the mountain ridge. The peak of Huayna Picchu is 8,835 ft above sea level, about 850 ft higher than Machu Picchu. (Source: Wikipedia.)

2016-ME

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Lima is a Cuban-born, award-winning poet, as well as an internationally recognized critic, bibliographer, playwright, and translator. As a Greenwich Village poet during the 1960s, he read at coffeehouses and other venues, co-edited Seventh Street. Poems of Les Deux Megots, introduced by Denise Levertov, and the second series of Judson Review. His 15 poetry collections include Celestials, Elementals, Sardinia/Sardegna, Ikons of the Past: Poetry of the Hispanic Americas, and Writers on My Watch (2020). Over 600 of his poems have appeared in print in the U.S. and abroad. Eleven of his poems have just appeared in Greek translation in Noima Magazine. Among his numerous critical studies are works on García Lorca, Valle-Inclán, Borges, Surrealism, folklore, dramatic literature, and translations of plays and poetry.