A poem by Chase Ambler
~ Reflection ~
This poem was sparked by a particularly brutal hike up Sentinel Point in the Rocky Mountains. The terrain was extremely demanding, and dangerous, since the snow covered large boulders. I had to be careful not to sprain an ankle. But the most challenging aspect was the wind. It could knock you off the mountainside in an instant if you weren’t paying attention. And—like most gales in the middle of winter—it was bitter, harsh, and slicing cold.
Yet from that brutality, rose a beauty so unreal that it made me stop to wonder if I was really witnessing it. The fresh snow was pulled across the summit and off the trees creating a twisting snow-fog. This already gorgeous scene came to life in a new, dynamic way. And to think that only a moment before, I was so consumed by trudging through the knee-deep powder. Nature can truly take you to another place in an instant. It can show you home.
In this poem I tried to work with the theme of your own breath and the respiration of the planet, by comparing and contrasting the two. Also, I played with the idea that something can imprint upon you so heavily that you feel an exchange was made—that you left a fraction of yourself behind. You can judge for yourself if I was successful or not.
The high altitude of the Rockies can surely strain your lungs but, in my experience, the wild always leaves you breathless—sometimes when you least expect it.
Chase Ambler is an American writer who spent his childhood in South and Southeast Asia. His life has been shaped by strange obsessions: heavy metal music, mountains, travel, and soccer. These subjects have all molded his poetry and prose in some way, but the birth of his daughter may have the greatest impact yet. He lives with his wife, baby daughter, and dog in Colorado. If one went looking for Chase, they could find him anywhere from changing diapers to summiting 14,000 foot mountains, but odds are he’s in front of the computer working on his next novel.
Visit the FB page for his Novel: Snowsong