The Way Down

Entry by: tinyfeet&bluebirds

8th May 2015
Ich Kann Nicht Mehr

Stuck on this stretch of slippery scree,
Fated perilous pass you gave your name to,
Weather turns. Changing clouds crash down
Obscuring vision. We hoped and hung
On, waiting. Till, as if awakening,
The mountain sought to throw us
Like a startled buck, groaning and growling,
Renching rocks, free falling one man down.
Only a group of yarns, twisted strands
Braided together, stretching, held the rest.
Above, all still, a frozen body dangling.
Below, a fractured skull put an end to sense.
And in between, stuck in the middle
Hung I. One hand, one arm like stone,
Only this rope between life and death.
Mordwand, bloody wall of rock and ice,
You were enough for death on the north side.
And yet still I strived, grasping for life,
To no avail. Beaten by the knot in a rope.
I can do no more. I can do no more.

Note: the poem's title is said to have been the alpinist Toni Kurz's last words before he died attempting to find a way down the north face of the Eiger in 1936.