RIDGELINE—view of the South Wallowas to Needle Point, just West
of Hidden Lake . . . [ click photo for next . . . ]
On the road in the American Northwest.
The pass is clearly
But the way:—
how impossibly confused.
RIDGE THAT DIVIDES US—
a prose poem
You, who are all the fast-flowing streams I've ever chanced
upon, all the unseen meadows, uncrossed passes of my
dreams. I awake in the night to see your image projected
before me, close enough to touch, yet somehow, like a
horizon, forever retreating as I reach out into the empty
darkness. I form the first syllable of your name, but
the sound will not come, so I remain silent and mute.
But certainly, you too must see the same face of the full
fall moon tonight, the same moon that will rise with
tomorrow's tides and turning Earth. Perhaps it was a year
ago, perhaps it was a thousand years ago—how should I
know?—but what has the passage of time and seasons
and years got to do with what we sense as beautiful
When we share the same path and the path is good then
surely at some as yet unknown point our trajectories will
cross and smile upon each other. Very far away, I see
your faint outline. You are resting. By a spring. You drink
deeply and are refreshed. Octave and unison, bittersweet
of the larger and smaller thirds, sonorous unheard harmony
of plucked and bowed strings, of sharp consonant and
rounded feminine vowel. All these rise within me as a sure
sign of you, you, beloved, as I look out upon the quiet land
and see the light of the sun become again a star's single ray,
hidden in a heartbeat by the lone ridge, the lone ridge
that yet divides us.
When I have what I need
to share what I love.
A world without light or
sound is thinkable,
but not a world
THE SOUND OF DISAPPEARING GLACIERS
The sound of disappearing glaciers
is not the sound of raging torrents,
or of thundering cascades.
It is the faint murmuring sound
of a thousand rivulets and rills
flowing ceaselessly, day and night,
day and night. with each turn of the Earth:—
a thousand more.
The North Wallowas