Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

John Samuel Tieman: Altimeter

during a walk
at 10 or 11,000′
I sit on a rock

breathless and silent
because I am old and fat
and climbing Aspen Mountain

so I want to write something
stunning like Petrarch
on Mount Ventoux

instead back at the room
at 8,000′
I learn something

about altitude and aesthetics
I throw a potato chip
to a magpie who eyes me

and eyes the chip and eyes me and weighs
the good and the true against
the need to gain altitude fast

Copyright 2016 John Samuel Tieman

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