Climbing Harney Peak, Black Hills, South Dakota

for Bob and Therese
 
 

The rain lasted all morning,
ending in a mist, its silence
more complete than the rocks.

The line about the silence just captivates me. Manna, age 15
Beautiful that mist can be more silent than a rock! Samantha, age 18

 
We start the climb after
the clouds break, leaving a blue
that defines the very edge of things.
 
Half-way to the summit, we stop,
drink clear water with cupped hands,
our mouths touching the stream.

This is better than saying that "we drank the stream water." Manna
"clear" and "cupped" is alliteration. Patty, age 14
There is more hard "c" alliteration in the following stanza in the words "Lakota" and "black."

 
For the Lakota tribe,
this barren place of black trees
was the center of the world.

Clear description! Karina, age 11

 
At the top, we finger its scars:
graffiti, broken glass. The abandoned
air and dark pines breathe through us.

With "Half-way to the summit" and "At the top," I like how the author shows progression so nicely. Samantha
I like this connection with the Native American tribe. Something so natural and simple being the center of the world for this tribe, but obviously not respected by modern day visitors, who leave trash and graffiti. Kara, age 21
This is an amazing visual: graffiti and glass, like scars on the landscape. Patty
I like the inversion in that they "breathe through us" instead of us breathing through them. Hannah, age 13
I find interesting the juxtaposition of "this barren place of black trees" and "At the top we finger the scars" with it being "the center of the world." One would imagine the center of the world to be a beautiful place, not an ugly one. Rachel, age 17

 
Below, the world is invisible.
Our children, all those we have named,
impossible to know from this height.

I like how Linda Nemec Foster uses "know" instead of "see." Patty

 
As we descend, the mist returns
to claim us. How it knows our voices,
our very shapes. So little have we changed.

I love this image of the mist "claiming" them and "knowing" their shapes. Kara
Through the 3rd Eye was supported in its inception by the Grand Rapids Humanities Council and is currently made possible by continued volunteer effort and private support. Copyright 2013.