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by Eric Hoffman


The artist—envisaged as a man
Immortal to the souls
That walk by, as they will,
A work of roots and clay

Earth churned and formed by hand
Remaining behind in the landscape
testifying to his struggle
Proclaiming its independence.

Only scythe and shovel,
Perched against rotted walls,
Remain as visual monuments
To a work unperceived

Winds came in autumn
Penetrating the somnambulant existence
Of this solitary dweller
Driving the waning body to desertion

Thoughts obtain verticality
Amongst these voluntary wilds of destruction,
And here live but a few
In a procession of predecessors

Wandering the upper slopes—he laughs
None but the mountain knew
The solace of the climb
This work which withers before obliteration or display


Eric Hoffman is the editor of The International Mountaineering Arts Journal. (Fall 1974)

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