The Climb Called Covid — A Poem Apt for the Current Times

We almost never publish any poems on our website. But this one is special, because the poem captures the essence of the mountains and blends it with the world we are living in, during COVID-19.

Here is Rajesh Karthikeyan, taking us through his journey of struggle and relief when he tested positive for COVID.


The Climb Called Covid

Stuck at 8000 – the death zone,
in a haunted bivouac, only the news of
the dead, is played on the wind,
and the only thing that can save,
is a descent to lower levels and
yet the only thing that I couldn’t.

Those 2 days and nights of eternity
before help arrived, to strengthen me.
Siddha medicine and an online
‘Body Process’ by my Teacher Stefan,
enabled me to descend to the
camps at 7000 and 6000.
As my breath returned, I gasped in
greed and rappelled down to the
simpler life, where every breath
isn’t just an existential thought, but an involuntary process.

At the base camp at 5000, my
recovery hastened by familial care,
I ruminated over those distant heights
from which, some never returned,
melting into the white mists of haze
and breathlessness, to become the Mountain itself.

— Rajesh Karthikeyan, 29th May 2021

Rajesh Karthikeyan

Rajesh Karthikeyan

Rajesh Karthikeyan alias "rK" considers himself an eternal learner, a mountain gazer and nature conversationalist (listening and talking to mountains, plants & other life forms). Also an Architect, Yoga Instructor and Holistic Health Practitioner ­(Craniosacral Therapy, Access Bars and Visceral Osteopathy) he says, "Poetry to me is to capture a complex concept, in a brief flow endowed with the emotions associated with it"