CLIFF CFEGO | Evening, Red Mountain, view from Muir Lake

Evening, Red Mountain, view from Muir Lake ("Crater Lake"),
Eagle Cap Wilderness
On the road in the Northwest of America.

If my photos aren't any good, I always say to myself,
I'm not living out enough, not exposed enough to the
rough and ready formative forces of the alpine world.
Like the great war photographer Robert Capa used to say,
[...] "you're not close enough to your subject." It
is true, I think.

It is also true that all good things must end. Including
the week after week of the clear blue skies of high pressure
Wallowa summer.

Here is a little set of three 37-step poems which dances
around this theme of the sudden arrival of autumn weather
in mountain August. In order for a variation form like
this to really flower, one needs to do them in sets or
sequences. Try reading them out-loud to get a sense of
how the rhythms and accents change in surprising ways
while still keeping to the basic 37-step pattern:

After Fall Storm in High Mountain Summer


Fast, flowing clouds stream
over constant red rock mountain,
stonepines give voice to cold winds, sun

peaks through, new

day so late in the afternoon. the
nutcrackers will not fly today.


The lightning bolt strikes
the stonepine, as it bursts apart
in a flash of flames. ancient tree

on solid

rock. science can't say
which tree will be the next to go.


One prays for sun, puts
up with rain. every zipper in
the tent is broke. a chipmunk gives

a sermon

on cheerfulness:—the
nutcrackers will not fly today.

Camp Lost & Found,
Eagle Cap Wilderness,
Oregon, VIII.17.2008