April Snowmelt Meander, the Elkhorns, Oregon [ click photo for next . . . ]
THE RHYTHM OF SNOW
We citizens of a-rhythmic 24/7 PLANET HI-TECH &
CAR-CULTURE, by and large, do not know the world of snow.
Mountain Spring is a world unto itself; It is witnessed by
few. Springs and streams disappear under two or three meters
of snow, continuing their life and flow deep under the
snowpack. (If you listen closely, you can still hear
the water moving under the layer of whiteness.) Come
April, however, the streams and creeks begin very,
very slowly to re-emerge.
Slow change does not feature prominently on the worldmap
of cultures running on sugar and fat. But not so fast.
Slow change is not just some straight line the highway
engineer draws from Bend to Burns; it is a highly
non-linear world, with myriad invisible thresholds
which can suddenly flip, like a light switch, from
one state to another. One morning, unexpectedly, the
whole snowpack collapses, and there is one's happy
meadow stream again, open to the clear air of bright
sunlight and the cold nights of distant stars.
The prose poem below, THE WINTER MOOR, moves about
freely in this enchanted world of deep snow. It's a
poem about natural form, about the forms which emerge
out of movement. And it's about the miracle of natural
sound. We think of sound, by and large, in an abstract
way, extracted, as it were, from its natural organic
spatio-temporal context. But this is to ignore how sound
resonates out into the world, like the waves that spread
out on a quiet pond. This is where I'll stop for now,
but the sound? It in some way keeps going—who is to
say—perhaps without end.
On the road in the American Northwest.
Art is balance in flowing movement demonstrated.
Art is also about balance in the metaphysical sense—
balance within ourselves, between ourselves, and in
our relationships with the world around us.
I may begin a poem with a scream, but the scream itself
instantly moves to find its proper counterpoint in
the gentleness of a whisper.
THE WINTER MOOR—a prose poem
Deep, fluffy, snowshoe snow, falling
day after day. No wind, the ground
slowly rising, covering color,
rocks, small trees;
smoothing out the many variegated
accents and differences of the summer
moor into long, white, sweeping,
elegant, legato lines suspended
in time like clouds to be
If you could see it, the moon would seem
so close that you could poke a pole at it.
No path, even the grouse don’t seem to be about, and
the pool has vanished without a trace.
They say there are places so powerfully peaceful and
quiet, that, if one were to play a properly tuned, long
wooden alpine horn in the right direction,
at the right moment,
that the sound of the higher partials would carry
over every visible peak
and in some deeply forested,
not be heard for more
than a thousand years.
Featured gallery, mountain water . . . .If you're a picture-poems fan, please visit my MOUNTAIN WATER Gallery—some of
the best of my flowform photography w/ a selection of the highest quality
prints & frames . . . [ mouse over for controls / lower right fro full-screen ]
All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 2011 picture-poems.com