Altitude

I have walked below the brooding Cho Oyo in it’s slumber,
Seen the roaring avalanche unravel the sleeve of care.
I have met Tibetan traders in their wild low tents of umber,
Seen nature’s cruel indifference take weary partners unawares.

I have pounded up the trail towards heaven
Following Orion and his dogs to where
I could taste both lump and leaven
In life’s hearth bread and wanted more.

And when no earthly food would strengthen
I held my breath and did explore
If trader’s loads were less encumbered
Following those distant shores.

They laughed, offering tea in their tents of umber.
With bitter herbs in wooden bowls, they fed and left a deeper hunger.

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