Back in January there was a weather event on Mount Evans in the Colorado Rockies. The jet stream was directly over an observatory and since that observatory was higher than fourteen thousand feet, the jet stream on that day happened to be low enough to go right through the site literally. The jet stream blows at maybe 60mph but also maybe higher since it has been measured above 200mph from time to time. That kind of scouring may explain why the gravel that high up is made up of rather big pieces. Everything small enough is blown away periodically. Of course no one is on the mountain at fourteen thousand feet in the winter. But what if I was?
I took my stand at
fourteen thousand feet, gasping
for air but plucky
yet until the wind
took me off my feet and set
me in the next state.
No one said the jet
stream could dip that low, no one
knew I should ask for
But seeking black holes, the view
was just tremendous.
Some years ago my poetry took on a mythic flavor and I became a character in my own poems, a mage, "the man of the Northern Wall". This apellation is not completely fictional. My middle name is Noordwal, a Dutch term for north wall, though in current Dutch it mainly means north bank as in riverbank. I was told that an ancestor, a Portugese Jew escaping the Inquisition, settled in a small Dutch town and took this name from where he settled, near the north wall of the town. I have thought for a long time that -wal meant wall, think my mother told me that. A linguist might say that my usage is no longer common, is an older usage, but then the Inquisition happened in Portugal a few centuries ago, right around the time the Moors lost control of the Iberian Peninsula and the Jews lost the modest protection given them by Islam. Now I write as this mage, my poetry persona.