(04 October 1943 / Germany)

The Piper On Everest

At last I've made it
to the roof of
our crazy world.
No higher goal
can be attained,
there is no mountain
that could offer
a nobler summit.

And swaying now,
a bit, how odd
that lack of air
can make me slow
and stagger
in the snow
and unforgiving
cruelty of Everest.

We were thirteen,
experienced,
mountaineers:
Hamburger Yank,
Know-all Kraut,
Vin Rouge Frog,
Olive Mafioso,
Feta Greek,
Herring Swede,
Vegemite Aussie,
Borscht The Russki,
Taco Mexicano,
Blubber Inuit,
Ancient Hunzakut,
Kibbutz Stein,
and
Darky Washington.

Just three of us,
and by sheer luck,
came down again
that day in May.
(None meant to stay) .
And come to think
about the top
and why we climbed
and did not stop,
all puzzled still,
we conquered
not a mountain
but a fear
within ourselves.

The Piper did collect.
And, in the end
it was, for some,
the final show.

by Herbert Nehrlich

Comments (2)

I think this a really cool poem! !
I love the names especially Darky Washington you have a great sense of humour somewhat dark but universal humour are there people you know in this poem have i been introduced did you happen to come across a pussy cat on your travels Warm regards AJS