Night-fire watch turns
to sleep, the soft glow of thoughts rolled
out on beds of feather and rock.
The arms of
whirling stars reach down,
a day rises on smoke and ash.
The afternoon river's
roar now the gentle murmur of
dawn, a chorus of dreaming fish
sings of schools
of birch leaves soaring
straight out of the she-goat's milky eyes.
Waking in wonder,
the darkness of the valley floor
stares breathless at the peak's rosy
blush, the face
of a mother play-
ing mad and a child feigning sleep.
Walking light, heading
south over a high mountain pass,
a pack heavy with simple things.
The rise and
fall of trees and snow,
a cycle spinning new each turn.
The high sheltered space
of a spruce forest dissolves in-
to low knotty shrubs, tangled with
the light of
a thousand moons -- the
patience which lives i n s i d e thin air.
The north-facing slopes
of the arduous life, where snow goes
to hide from the spring plants, who, after
long months of
are ablaze with pinks and wild blues.
Through windflowers filled
with a harp's gentle praise, stepping
out onto scree and misty snow.
the s o u n d of metal-
on-ice the only moving thing.
A pathless passage
through the daytime boreal night,
through downhill winds which give no rest.
so complete that ech-
oes crack and rocks fa l l forever.
Moving on rhythm,
not time, neither up nor down but
boots and breath, the idea of south
bursts as the body
stops and the earth lets go at last.
On the edge! The point
at which two snowflakes divide in-
to north and south, the children of
light and dark
parting ways, to meet
again on the far side of change.
Sight! So utterly
limited, incapable of
focusing on two eyes at once,
out on the whole of
north and south, grasping it as one.
Returning! Would it
be possible at all without
the distant green of the forest,
steady rise and fall
of wind and rocks, of trees and snow.
Coming down, a rain
drop runs the south edge of a ridge,
the grain of a slope offering
of becoming a
stream, of flowing then returning.
The further down, the
more limited things become: a
self-spun traceless thread feels its way
paths, to jeep-trails, to
the hard concrete used every day.
A day rises on
smoke and ash, eyes searching for whirl-
pool galaxies, sounds of water
and rock. Thoughts
turn, wither and dry,
feeding night-fires no one sees.
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