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...