Shadows on Rock

I am merely a shadow, born of sunrise,

And my touch to you, I know, is nothing;

And my words to you, I know, are whispers,

Torn by wind to shreds, and you could never hear me


I am merely a shadow, melting in the white noon;

What are my sweat and blood to you?

They are naught but water, coloured by pain

Dripping down your slopes onto the ground;


I am merely a shadow, dreading the night

By whose spreading wings I’ll be consumed;

In my armour of rock, encrusted with stars

I will become one of your faceless sisters


I am merely a shadow, I will disappear;

What are my triumphs to you, oh Mountains?

It could be that my last breath is this very one

While for you wild gale up high will breathe forever


Oh Mountains, may you be blessed

For you keep bearing our passing shadows

To your proud, unyielding summits,

Upon which Light burns down Time

To nothing

6 thoughts on “Shadows on Rock

  1. It is not a matter of narcissism or egocentricity. But the realization that we are mere shadows is demoralizing. On the other hand we need of dose of humility now and then.

    1. Thank you for the interesting comment! I agree with you, Carl, in that we couldn’t face the challenges of our daily lives if we constantly reminded ourselves that we are only shadows. However, having spent all this time in the mountains watching my shadow glide over rocks and ice, I was fascinated by how not a trace of it – of me – remained on them. The scale and power of the Himalayas certainly inspired me with humility and more appreciation for my small life than I’d ever had before; it was the opposite of demoralizing, really.

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