from opening stanzas of long narrative poem
Among mountains, when they were there
and no man existed to fling
thick cold air
over their snowcovered shoulders
where no heads were
but all snow tops joined in the cloud
the cover of everything –
there was a beginning
sweet reek like transformation of
blood into grass.
After its crimson glow sank
silent and a fragrance
of undisturbed earth glimmered
here and there beguiling sunlight . . .
a man appeared walking
alone but not lonely
who’d never met anyone
else yet was a mage well versed
in the way things were taking
and should have taken.
He climbed the silent mountains
as the sun was breaking
through the white silences with energy
a man might imagine infinite
whatever the grasses whispered
and the trees pretending already
to great age wheezed and creaked.
The faltering twitter of birds
like flowers was up and about
in birches that stretched for the sun –
which seemed so far from them and
so soon gone past
across the narrow channel
stony ranges cast
shadows across, flick flack,
the one side and the other
giving the little rill and its grove
a glower that life found absurd –
and said so by growing.
No monsters could ever scare
away these frail feathered and leafed things
from their inch of day.