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.


Anonymous said...

Is it the poet or the warrior who is drawn to this place with his skin pressed firmly against its white face? Reaching upward from his terrestrial base, will his heart or his mind set the sustainable pace? Does he seek and aspire to the peak and its spire or race to descend with and not from grace?

Such are the battles of the poet and the words which the warrior will employ. It is their wisdom witch together shows us that our pain is no less wondrous than our joy.

cascadepoet said...

Ha. Ha. The mountains are a good place. I'm glad you liked. I made several changes though.

Have fun out there.