for John Heron

Some ladders go up some ladders
go down

It’s true! Of course all ladders intrinsically
go both ways

both up and down
though we prop one up to climb out of

somewhere or
put one down to climb down into somewhere

But in both cases we’d climb back down or
back up unless we can keep

going at the level we’ve climbed up or
down to without needing to return

The tall wind-blasted fairy-castle caves at
Capadoccia in Turkey have ladders going way up

then precariously down

We had to climb down to prophet Daniel’s
supposed tomb on Prophet Daniel Street in Alexandria

then had to clamber precariously up

It all depends where we begin
down or up and where we need to go

up or down

Oh and take a ladder when you leave this poem
would you?

Climb up there and see if
anyone’s listening?

12/29/2007 (from The Fire Eater’s Lunchbreak)

Categories: Poems