Thursday, February 28, 2008


On a mountain high, you sit. You stare toward far-off vistas and down into valleys struck of cliff and ice, follow warily from forest to tree islands, high up to lonely tree and think, there (!), yes there is danger and there, too, is true fear. And in spite of it, courage like a sliver in the thumb of some great beast who cannot remove it ever clings to and torments its oppressor. Fangs cannot gouge nor do its claws remove. The tree stands as testament to the will to survive in the face of egregious odds.

While this tree has its battles so, too, does this mountain whom rises far above it and even as your eyes glide from rock-thorned hip to snow-stuffed belly you become seized by its warrior-mountain armor, STRUCK of Earth's own skin, formed into leather, and worn from those countless marches into battle. Oiled by its own sweat, never hiding those half-healed scars suffered by the torments of Nature; you realize the fight has been long. Crevassed glaciers ooze blood as clear as pearl and pure as child, pooling into opal and azure-tinted lakes, carving canyons into valleys and rushing constantly out to fill seas and oceans. This blood of mountain becoming so much more than that; it is the nectar of life.

Further up strong and powerful cliffs bulge from ridgelines sinuously curving from mountainous shoulders, daring any to wander near or challenge in battle. Arms brandishing spears of forests, daggers of ice, hammers of rock, shields of cliff raise to defend. And however manly you may think yourself, you must concede fearful fascination this warrior spurs in you, so much enthralled that your eyes continue to study, probing deeper into this mountain's secrets.

Long after, your eyes still brimmed with fascination, raise higher still, to the summit and the head of the beast. You risk not meeting eye to eye, choosing instead to study its helmet from which horns of rock so ominous, pierce veil of sky and heaven alike, surely striking trepidation and terror not just in you, but those warriors surrounding this Mountain. His fellow warriors not as grisly, surely, should not be misjudged. As much as beautiful women are beautiful, any can lay waste to your heart. And the face of this Mountain is not the face you would expect. Not the youth, but an aged beast with furrows of stone crumbling, the fierce determination still apparent, but fear itself not entirely hidden and masked. Your eyes have seen beyond to something (someone) not unlike you, full of emotion and feeling, beauty and perseverance over nature and the ravages of time.

This Mountain seizes your attention, his eyes holding you, flesh and bone, as the sun swings below horizon and shadows wash from brow to chin, freezing time and movement. Shadows who remain witness, hint at the battle these peaks wage. And there, (right there!) in the midst fighting swords swing, shields rise and warriors die. A battle that sweeps across millennia, one you can never hope to witness in its entirety.

But you are not me, as I am Wind which blows through the whiskers of Earth, stoking the flames of fire and carrying the snow, rain and ice of storm. And with arms outstretched I race to meet my foe, long studied, its weaknesses and vulnerabilities now unearthed.

And Friend, long before my dual is done, your bones may rest on this mountain or another and, if so, I will remember you, a warrior like me, like the mountains that stretch to horizon and beyond and one day, I may bring you this mountain and lay you to rest and when this place is nothing more than dust another mountain may rise, young and strong. And if so, your essence, will be made of cliff and stone, tree and ice from which you will look back at me, enthralled now as you were, long ago, of the mountain. You and I, we will not be friends and I do not expect to be, but I will know you and our battle will be long and glorious.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


The mountains and the slopes that surround them can truly inspire. They can open your mind. I often say the noise that permeates the city stifles clear thoughts. Nature, too, is noisy but in a different way. It isn't so overwhelming, but can be just as alien.

My eyes look outward at everything
but they only see what is to be seen
not the image of what really is

I tell myself, “You are not looking
properly?” But how do you look properly
for what can only be seen
by looking

“Is there a different way
of looking?”

Curious about it, I stare harder
thinking that by squinting
my clearer vision would sharpen
my fuzzy thoughts

“I don’t see anything,
damn it!”

It is here now, I give up
and continue my traverse of alp slopes
full of brush, tree and every color flower
you could imagine

I’m on no trail.

The hill ahead I skirt via a deep trench
bursting with snow melt-water.

A Marmots home sits above me
but no animal exits.
So green everywhere.

The FOG, I hadn’t mentioned yet
it permeates every fissure and fold of land

I can just make out like materialized clouds
the white arms of snow bleaching
rock slabs above
but even they disappear

There is only me on this island
of green
split by bustling creek tap dancing through
grey, green, white, red, orange
every color stone
except yellow?

“Why is that?”

So many yellow flowers make up
for the lack
too many!

A flat stone tilts with the weight
of my pack

the humdrum of the creek
it tells the Earth’s secrets
I’m sure of it!

The wind lingers above my head to listen
before charging aimlessly forward
I think it looks for

I wish I could tell it,
what I hear
but the words are alien to me

Why can’t I understand? Is it because I look
for words, where there are only

I stop listening to the water
to the wind
to the stones at my feet

Instead I look.

And I realize there are differences
in what I see without the sound

“Yes, I see it now!”
The sound of my own voice smothering
my smile
but it doesn’t dismantle my thoughts.
I realize, “there are many perspectives.”
And, with them, you can confine

I allow for a moment the pleasure
to permeate my skull
the joy of what is around me on this island
of green
floating in the fog
to bounce from flower to flower, rock to rock
water droplet to water droplet

feeling then, not so alone

my ears honed to the sounds
these friends that tie me to the earth
in a language I’m hoping to learn
one syllable at a time

A whistle crackles my eardrums
and my neck muscles swivel my head
to look right into the eyes
of a Marmot.

“You know what this land is telling you,
Don’t you Mr. Marmot?”

Another whistle pierces
the fog and another, beyond
returns it...

Friday, February 8, 2008


Time talks to me and it has
so much to say

“Maybe we can be friends,”
I inquire
thinking that maybe with him
as a friend
I could defy risk!

But, sadly, I am a fool
time has no friends
Instead, I am a warrior.

As such I cannot give up so easily?
I test the boundaries of my cage
but nothing I do
slows the beast

Is there no courage in me at all?
Can I not face this moment
and the next
and the next
and everyone after?
They are not so bad, just different

yes, different

“Nothing is the same,” I know
“Always has been.”
But that onrushing violence of time
that rips and tears at normalcy
“Is it always constant?”

I realize that time is just
an hourglass?

And our measure is metered out
by fate
and action
and time will keep its secrets
That is fine

And as long as I understand that
I’m sure that maybe
with time
we may even become friends

Thursday, February 7, 2008

On this Mountainside

Staying up late, I try and make my 100th post worth reading. Alas, I am at a loss for words. Too much noise, too much reasoning what is good and what is bad, but sometimes that is the way of it?

So it is easier then that I write of nature again (something of a theme lately). And in this particular rhyme I imagine high cold rocks and grasses, above the highest of alpine trees, nearly to snow. It is there, back against boulder, I watch night turn to day and back again.

Lift up the night to awaken
on this mountainside;
witness sun-swept slopes between
glacier and tree,
watch their shadows march and ride.

Feel the breeze lick these glassy waters
on this mountainside;
feel those lances of wind
prickle its skin,
where fish and fly rise and collide

Suffer the lonely rain clouds who weep
on this mountainside;
curse those painful tears that run
wild with abandon,
flowing down stream and over rock side

Put to rest the day to dream
on this mountainside;
witness dark-swept slopes between
glacier and tree,
watch their shadows march and ride