Gary Witt


To Do, 5/18 - Poem by Gary Witt

The face comes again to me;
Serene, sacred granite, cracked and cragged,
Of unforgiving beauty, wrapped in humorless mist,
Highlighted by a heavenly, combed beam
That splays through clouds, a holy azimuth,
Granting quiet grace.
This face, turned away to the north,
Laughing, deadly, mute, and eloquent,
Challenges and beckons,
Stares pitilessly waiting
With standards that are not negotiable.
It has learned my name
But speaks of me with disdain,
In the third person,
Asking who shall yield,
Who shall accept that yielding,
While fear, like a floater, crosses my vision,
Drifting slowly, then snapping back
Into the corner of my eye.

This holy, stern, immobile face,
Stationary stalker, blind voyeur,
Warns and summons me with a tremor:
“Make no mistake...make no mistake.”
So today I gather cams and crabs, hooks and harnesses
To march tomorrow in the dark to its foot
And then ascend, scrambling boulder to boulder
To the chin of this face, to clean-climb this profile
Using the weathered cracks and crags
To lift myself across God’s brow
And answer this blank, threatening stare,
Seeing beyond its façade, into eternity.


Comments about To Do, 5/18 by Gary Witt

  • (4/19/2008 4:06:00 PM)

    Wow, this is brilliant Gary - anyone who has ever climbed will understand the beckoning silence that such a face projects. You have captured the essence of this calling, the fear, the allure and the respect that is required to tackle such a 'cracked and cragged' face of 'unforgiving beauty' The religious imagery that underpins this piece suggests a certain reverence towards all that looms before you and reinforces the underlying metaphor as you strive to attain what may appear out of reach, beyond ones grasp and yet continues to ‘challenge and beckon…’

    'To lift myself across God’s brow
    And answer this blank, threatening stare,
    Seeing beyond its façade, into eternity.'

    Beautifully written, not a word out of place - absolutely love this. justine. x
    (Report)Reply

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  • (3/6/2007 7:27:00 AM)

    Terrific, Gary! We have a Rubicon, which we adore, especially out in the Anza Borrego desert...tire rotation, oil change, make time for sex, plant morning glories, read chapter 10, write summary, respond to emails, ad infinitum. This is a fabulous read! (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, February 24, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, May 14, 2011


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