A journal of art + literature engaging with nature, culture, the environment & ecology

The Climb

Ray DiZazzo, USA

For Sean

There is a way of breathing

known to those who’ve

walked to the sky on stones and ice,


a way of opening the lungs

in the face of clouds and gasping in

their whiteness.


There is a way of premonition    

in the jagged bend

of a blue crevasse,


of panic    

boiling in the blood

at twenty thousand feet,


of grace

in boot print mud

drying on the peak

of an impossible summit.

Ray DiZazzo has published fiction, poetry and criticism in commercial and literary magazines, newspapers and books. Some of those publications include The Berkeley Poetry Review, Poetry Now, California Quarterly and elsewhere. He is the recipient of the Percival Roberts Book Award and the Rhysling Award. DiZazzo is also a Pushcart Prize nominee, whose works have been anthologised in The Alchemy of Stars, Burning with a Vision and Contemporary Literary Criticism. in addition, he has published four books of poetry: Clovin’s Head, Songs for a Summer Fly, The Water Bulls and The Revlon Slough: New and Selected Poems.