First View- Chicago Lakes
Sleet needles past my fastened collar
as we rise into the house of rain.
Mr. Byers of the Denver News
has horsed us up this flyspeck path
with avowals of Alpine views but
now is silent. I think he has missed
the spur trail. My blood is gelid,
fingers numb beyond recovery.
Clouds tickle and drip and when we crest
this timbered ridge I must ask that—Oh!
Sublime cirque! The Alps surpassed again!
Stay the mules—I must—I need my paints,
stool. Fifteen minutes, please you; see how
the near lake mirrors the breaking storm
with light fine as milkweed fluff, that one
pearled peak soft as the edge of heaven!
Kenneth Chamlee is Emeritus Professor of English at Brevard College in North Carolina. His poems have appeared in The North Carolina Literary Review, Cold Mountain Review, Ekphrasis, and many others. He won ByLine Magazine's National Poetry Chapbook Competition (Absolute Faith, 1999), and the Longleaf Press Poetry Chapbook Competition (Logic of the Lost, 2001). His poems have appeared in six editions of Kakalak: An Anthology of Carolina Poets. He is currently working on a poetic biography of painter Albert Bierstadt. Learn more at www.kennethchamlee.com.
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