On Mount Bigelow


We find ourselves sweating, climbing

                                        green throats

against the earth’s

                                        long swallow. The breezeless wells.

We are wax weakened in sun, wounds rolled in salt. We force

                                        each step

against a hot torrent

                                        of August. Endlessness

of switchbacks and false summits.

                                        At last, through a weather of flies, pushing

at the rotted boards

                                        of our limits

we arrive.

                                        Blue attics, a valley-talk of wind: up

among the ridge-wealth, the airs

                                        and immolations, the bells and alarms

of mountains. A blue-green purpose, a torture of pine, arms

                                        and bones

crawling. We drift above the precise earth,

                                        the logging scars and pincushions.

Green lakes and light-lakes.

                                        Humid bales of sky. Our blood

declines, our living is burning away.

                                        We sway

at the extremity of an infrastructure, where a fire tower

                                        of mere filaments


                                        on the thread of its approach.


David Troupes has published two collections of poetry, Parsimony (2009) and The Simple Men (2012), and his work has appeared many journals on both sides of the Atlantic, including Hayden’s Ferry Review, Fugue, Nimrod, PN Review, Poetry Wales and Carcanet’s 2015 anthology New Poetries VI. Having recently completed a PhD and a Jerwood Opera Writing Fellowship in the UK, he is happily planning a return to his native Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters.