at one point, i scream/laughed “i am flying—flYiNg”—& i did


back on my snowboard last friday, first time after 7 years…


i didn’t think
you could forget the magic of those snow-capped trees,
of curves carved into powder sheets
the echo of a wondrous, sparkling landscape,
spitting tribal sounds into your ear
only muted by a hand-knit-by-my-daughter cap

i didn’t think
that i could trust the mountain’s tongue //again
as she says “throw yourself, arms spread wide
into my chest, head first
& test if… ”

in the car my lips press tight
in a small line
i don’t say a word
as we wind our way up thousand tiny roads

&put the shroud line on wrong leg first,
shivering against my husband’s chest
as the chair-lift moves us to the top

after seven years you have to re-learn
how the snowboard beNds sensitively
left or right just by the slight adjustment
of your hips, didn’t feel it//first

i’m sweat and ache, card doesn’t work
& hubs lost somewhere in the white,
an old man fall/crashes
lift stops// he climbs in, sits next to me,
shyly smiling as we float //parallel
to the slope’s white& mighty breast,

he shakes his head “oh my, oh my, i dunno–”
& i wanna put my arm around him
“hey, it happens, you’re good–”

& leaning in the wind, relax
slowly re//cognize her thumping pulse,
washing up like waves against us,
brEAthe, adjust the straps &
trust she will catch me

hours later,
we sit on the trunk rim of the car,
hubs feeding me cookies (lips quivering)
hot tea, massages my aching legs

& i will wash his later in the shower
as a bunch of rainbows carve-trails
down my cheeks, neck, hips and–
“you did well today”
“hmmm” i say,
eyes closed & mouth a gurgling water-


arms spread//inHale
the mountain’s breatH
still snowWet // on my face


for #OpenLinkNight at dVerse Poets… pub doors open at 3pm EST…


64 responses to “at one point, i scream/laughed “i am flying—flYiNg”—& i did

  1. Oh my…not something I’ve ever tried…but you look good on that mountain…but nothing like a warm shower to ease the pain I would think…another vicarious adventure for us all…thanks!

  2. I’m not much of a mountain person … so this prairie girl is inviting you … to come with me … cross country skiing, or snow shoeing if you like … I’ll feed you cookies and hot cocoa by the cabin in the woods, too … smiles …

  3. I know you weren’t trying out for the Winter Olympics, but I’d be so happy if you won the poetry Olympics, if there were such a thing. Love your story of adventure, memories, you and hubby and the old man. Like the picture too, though it looks too cold for me. Have fun.

  4. trusting the mountains tongue again….i like that…and as with many things we just have to throw ourselves into it with wild abandon….sometimes evenin the meeting of another…i like the compassion for the man…glad you had such a good time…and i like how you ‘read’ the mountain…there is a cool intimacy both with it and with hubs…

  5. Wonderful first stanza! You have really set the scene. I am reminded of skiing holidays in Switzerland. I would certainly need some lessons to be able to ski decently again. As for snowboarding I think I’d be hopeless!

  6. Up for giving most things a try, but if I did this I’d go off a cliff and die haha or just roll in a big ball of snow down the hill. Hey, that could be a thrill.

  7. Oh how I miss skiing…was never a boarder, but boys are. I just loved the feeling of flying, the wind whipping my already read cheeks redder, the exhilaration of the take-off of the lift as it gives that big downward swoop then you’re flying in a different way.
    Loved the way you shared your after time. Nice glimpse into your life.

    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

  8. Good for you for snowboarding after having been away from it for seven years…I’d say that’s bravery. It sounds like it all came back to you though, as you gave it a try once again. Done well, it must really feel somewhat like floating. (Nice photo too.) Ha, as for myself…..I prefer to do things on FLAT surfaces! Smiles.

  9. that first stanza is pure magic, pure magic… & love the story of your poem, physical experience soaring into metaphor – can we trust nature, the mountain, the universe that much, to throw ourselves headfirst & arms outstretched into whatever experience we find ourselves in? can we discover finally, what it feels like to fly without physical appendages called wings?

  10. This one is one of my favorites of yours, really sings, soars; liked the line /the slope’s white & mighty breast/ All of your work stands on the shoulders of the rest of us, but this one has such a sensual intimacy, & visceral appeal, I just really dig it.

  11. The mountain in winter… to me that’s paradise.. still that tension when you are on your way up.. what have you forgotten what do you remember… I have never tried snowboard… I only heard it takes its toll with bruises etc… myself I try to do free-heel (Telemark) skiing.. but it’s so far to go to any decent hill…. hmmm maybe we should go.

  12. You are very adventurous, smiles ~ I am not a winter person but I can empathize with your pulse & falling into winter’s arms & spirit ~ Good to see you having a good time with you hubs ~

  13. Beautifully done Claudia. I especially like the way it turned intimate in the end. I’m not much for sking–actually I’ve never been. I like to look at snow, sometimes roll around naked in it. >KB

  14. This is so sensually beautiful… and I admire your courage… I tried skiing once… we all laughed and decided it just wasn’t for me. Your description made me feel as if I were trying yet again.

  15. “spitting tribal sounds into your ear” is my favorite of the many wonderful images in your poem. The way you bring this poem around to the experience shared by you and your husband makes for a very good ending.

  16. There’s nothing quite so magical as whooshing down that perfect snow in that deep mountain silence… it is flying, it is life and death, it is… everything you have captured so well in your poem, including the prosaic bits.

  17. Oh..that sounds so exhilarating..and alive..
    It makes my heart beat in joy to share your life like this..

    But me..i am too uncoordinated inherently to ski or skate..with tools..

    So i use my feet..and Nikes a little closer to the ground..
    and ice skate in reverse..on freshly shined super walmart the sound of music…

    And the joy of being alive…:)

  18. Intimate and lovely…love . I just went back to yoga..I injured myself a year and a half ago and I was afraid to injure my shoulder again but I decided that I must take that chance. So happy I went back and so happy you did this. Life is short-I say do it! 🙂

  19. So that’s flying! It’s heady, taking the breast of the mountain in leans and hip tips, slight. I’m sore from reading, but also soaring.

  20. Awesome! I am there! I have always wanted to snowboard! Jealous, Claudia! Good on you! The last time I skiied was before my girl was born. 13 years…I wonderf what my body thinks? Like hey, get off that chair and GO, fly!

  21. Oh how I love this! I don;t get the opportunity to ski as often as I’d like, but Colorado begs for it… When I do, those same feeling some over… and the twitch in the tear in the meniscus of my knee says … “beware”… but oh what a glorious feeling! Good write!

  22. After 7 years one can feel the aches and pain . This is besides the nasty falls that invariably happens.You certainly had fun! Wonderful take Claudia!


  23. Claudia, you make me want to ski and I have not ever done that yet! I want to hear the mountain talk to me too, and throw myself down it, trusting, head first.

    Hope you are all healed up from your aches, and ready to hit the mountain again 🙂

  24. Ah Claudia, good for you! You look like you are in your element, all bundled up and ready to rock and roll down the hill! Never quite got the knack of skiing much less snowboarding, but envy those who fly down the hills, wind in their faces. Such freedom!! Lovely story, thanks for sharing!

  25. Your voice, Claudia, sounds so passionately…I can feel your joy of returning to this sport….I remember sledding in Carpathians …time ago …amazing feeling being one with nature.. brave girl you are! ~ Thanks for taking me with you :)x

  26. You thought me to snow board…….. what a wonderful feel put into reality….. i give a very lovely pic of ur lovely time…………

  27. Well you render the brrrr factor into something intimate and warm. Like this a lot, Claudia 🙂 ~jackie~

  28. You’ve reminded me why I do not wish to fix skinny slats of wood to my feet ever again. Did that when I was younger but not I’m too old (and fragile!) for it now.

  29. Gosh I ENJOYED READING THIS ! 😀 I could feel your fear, your hesitation and then the joy, the freedom, the accomplishment behind your awakened experience. I love how you describe the mountain and its appeal… Just…wow!!

  30. as with so many of the best adventures, letting go is the key. feeling the world around you and listening to what is has to say. another wonderful piece from you.
    do I remember you being on crutches not long ago…? brave and daring indeed~

  31. Oh goodness, 7 years! I always dread clipping on the skis and getting back on the snow, but on a good day when you have the slopes to yourself more or less, to be pottering around, carving a beautiful curve, superb! This is a great capture. Where did you go?

  32. I have never skii’d in my life-heck,never seen snow even but this was such an exhilarating journey -loved how it was laced with romance-those precious moments -the courage to be adventurous and young again-feel free once more-wow!Loved it Claudia:-)

  33. Claudia, what an incredible exhilarating ride! I’m exhausted and happy 🙂 Never did well at skiing, but I’m feeling a bit like flying now 😉