Twenty-nine thousand
Thirty-five feet above sea
Everest rises

Called Chomo-Lungma
Mother Goddess of the Earth
And a bitch to climb

George Leigh Mallory
Tried often in the ’20s
Why? “Because it’s there.”

George Leigh Mallory
Died trying. We’ll never know:
Did he reach top first?

Then Tibet was closed
To outside expeditions
From the Northeast Ridge

Nepal opened up,
’49; intrepid treks
Resumed from the south

Ice, rock, blinding wind
Siren song’s frozen notes lured
200 to death

Peak experience
Punching a hole to heaven
Up beyond the clouds

Two-thirds of the way
Through Earth’s atmosphere, closer
To something divine

Two conquered — and made it back
Into record books

Kiwi beekeeper
And Himalayan Sherpa
On top of the world

Edmund Hillary,
Tenzig Norgay on this date
Climbed Mount Everest