the slope we're on is steeper than I thought
I can't hear much in my helmet though I know
all round me are Germans, French, Italians
and maybe Turks and Russians, maybe not.
They haven't noticed that it's raining.
Down we go.The artificial snow has melted
this strange year and then frozen overnight.
Glassy teardrops scatter from my feet
and beyond the snow blowers, I peer through
the dark tree line, to the ancient borders; see
checkpoints; starving hordes, and slow trains
squeak of tank tracks, drone of heavy planes
We trudge back to the lodge; am I the only one
remembering the distances we've covered
everyday, the energy we need to keep ahead?
ideas of fresh snow, known safe runs
and of a half a billion hearts spread miles
across this landscape, trying to keep the weather
on our side, and make the mountains still
the forests thick with myths we live against
If you have any comments on this poem, Paul Burns
would be pleased to hear from you.