Posted by: Ron DuBour | June 5, 2019

Runway 24, Lukla, Nepal (The Attainment of Dreams)~by Michael Graves



Runway 24, Lukla, Nepal (The Attainment of Dreams)

Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and nature

To reach the summit of Everest
you must land on Runway 24
in Lukla, Nepal.

There is no other way.

It has a cliff at one end.
A mountainside at the other.
It is only
one thousand
five hundred
feet long.

It is the most dangerous runway
in the world.

But it is the gateway
to dreams.

To reach Everest
you must walk the Khumbu Glacier.
But first
you must scale the death trap that is the Khumbu Icefall.

To earn the chance to do either
you must land on Runway 24.
You must commit.

Runway 24 is the step beyond common reality.
Every prior experience
is shared with those who are content
to live on ordinary ground.

The flight from Kathmandu takes 35 minutes.
The weather changes

When the opportunity for flight presents itself
you must take it.
Or remain below.

You must commit.

There is no other way.

The light changes on the summit of Everest
from minute to minute.
No two climbers ever

see exactly the same view
from the height.

As sure as the clouds
of ice crystals rise
on the ragged winds
like a plume
from the summit of Everest

it is there
for the taking.

To attain
you must commit.
You must land on Runway 24.

–Graves 10/2/15

NOTE: The Khumbu Icefall lies at the head of the Khumbu Glacier, on the Nepali slopes of Mount Everest, not far above Base Camp. The icefall is one of the most dangerous stages of the South Col route to Everest’s summit. It is estimated that the glacier advances 3 to 4 feet down the mountain every day. Large crevasses open with little warning. The towers of ice found at the icefall have been known to collapse suddenly, sending huge blocks of ice tumbling down the glacier. They can range from the size of cars to the size of 12-story buildings.

This poem is dedicated to those who have landed.

I am happy to announce that my book “Messages in a Bottle: Communications to My Future Self” took one of the top awards given by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association in 2018. Both it, and my book “Reflections on a Crystal Wind” are available from Hugo House Publishers at:…/messages-bottle-paperback/

If you see this piece on Facebook, and if you like it, please do me the favor of sharing it so that others may enjoy it, too. Thanks!


1) Just click this link.…/messages-bottle-paperback/

2) Then, click on the button that says: Free E-Book “A Glimpse Beyond”.

3) Download onto your phone, iPad or computer. “A Glimpse Beyond” downloads in Kindle, iBooks and other formats for your convenience.

Copyright © 2019 by Michael Graves, All Rights Reserved, except the right to forward and to share with friends – with credit — which is held to be a good idea and is thus encouraged.

More of Michael Graves’ poetry is at the following link:

On Instagram at #mg_poet

The photo was taken by Dr. Hema Patel and she has my heartfelt thanks for allowing me to use it with this piece.

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