Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Ice drove down from the north,
spread and split the land.
After an age, it thawed.
The freed waters dove into basins,
raced through channels,
wound round massive granite mounds
men came to call mountains.
A falcon hovers in the air,
I remember, for once I was there.
Land lift me now, close to the sky,
to cleanse my spirit, clear my eye.
Cairn Gorm, middle peak,
intrude on my vision,
to let my tongue speak.
Would that I had the memory of a mammoth,
to see it all in a glass,
for it must have been grand.
What are those shaky forms in the mirror?
In one blink they pass.
Elk herds run down to a river.
Out from a gap in the rocks,
a sabre tooth tiger leaps.
No, we will never know,
for under the Siberian snow,
the bones of the mammoth sleeps.
Golden eagle, rightly called king of birds,
fly me over Cairn Gorm,
free of cloud, mist and words.

Sundial, lagoon, aviary, amethyst, sapphire.
Of pleasant things think,
let my mind drink
before all's forgotten in sleep.
Weird what memory may keep.
Find words to outwit a wizard,
hoodwink a witch.
Sometimes to find the best berries,
you must fall in a ditch.
What now do I discern in the stream?
My mind cannot translate
the strange hieroglyphs of dream.
The heat of high summer
hardens my brow,
and where am I now?
Seems on the lawn of a mansion I stand,
the shadow of a sundial I touch with my hand,
and wonder if it will make time move more slow,
for I do not want to go.
The forest I sought was in a myth
and not on a map.
Aware of the snare,
I evaded the trap.
It is all right, really.
I knew I'd never walk under those trees,
to climb up to those mountains,
but I have felt the same wind
as the wings of a hawk,
and I have sensed the secrets of water,
heard the silent ones talk.

Inaccessible pinnacles,
dark mountain summits,
like cracked crowns,
axe hewn, broken helmets,
cleave through clouds,
spike the sky.
Few venture up there,
some train to try.
Unbidden, granite island,
green and grey,
built around me,
sat in my kitchen,
broadened and surrounded,
came back to me today.
Men cannot build there,
will always be the wild.
I smiled on that comfort,
my vision clear,
to see it as a child.
All right, I am going,
I remember saying,
I know I can only wander here.
This is the wild,
no place for settlement.
I looked up and saw an eagle,
it soared out from a peak,
wide winged, further south,
it vanished, woke wonder,                                                                                         deeper than my tongue can speak.

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