Fall Glacier, Blue Light

Little Stone Man

And everywhere these deafening

of  d r u m s, heavy  d r u m s,
beating the bounds.

Slowly, rock by rock, feet feeling for a route through
the fractured byways of a vast boulder field.

The feeling of being lost mixes with mist, the body shot full
of holes, energy pouring out every which way, any direction
as good as the next.

But one moves on, all the same...

In the distance, a little stone man,
just a pile of rocks five feet tall.

   But he's waving! He's smiling!

Silent gestures which give one courage,
the whisper of a smooth, comforting voice,

   "You're not lost, keep going!
    This is the right way."

Keep going!

A blaze, a cairn, a metal board,
signs of those who have gone before me,
sounds of front doors firmly snapped shut,
echoing in the forest at night.
In the forest,
the mark of an axe, the wood,
the wound, the trust of trees,
of threads tied, trunks, wombs,
of rocks, of constancy,

...the quiet centers
around which turn
the gift of our returning...


Day-old bootprints in a single row,
a track, a trail, a muddy road,

So much of my now walks on their past,
but how quickly my feet beat their work dumb,
the dulling drone of mechanical drums.

My free, easy rambling
is their hard labor;
my sure step, their fatigue,
their turning back...

But one moves on, all the same...

And everywhere these deafening sounds,
of  d r u m s, heavy  d r u m s, beating the bounds.

So tell me please,
pathmaker past,

"Where is the unknown

Glaciers, ridges and rivers without end,
these differences, black on white.

A line, a color, a printed page.
A map's measure of the Earth's music
or a madman's dictation?

The sure and certain knowledge that
others have been there before me.
Oh yes, the world is round!
(What a marvelous returning!)

A child draws the hands of a clock
such seriousness,
five, eight minutes pass.

    But her face,

so full of frustration, surprise,
seeing what's written
belongs to the past.

Belongs to the past,

But one keeps going, all the same...

And everywhere, echoing,
these deafening sounds, beating the bounds,
of  d r u m s, heavy  d r u m s, beating the bounds.

So tell me please,
mapmaker past,
"Where is the unknown

A letter, a word,
a sound, a phrase.

Meter, matrix, mother of all,
tell me, tell me please.

Where to with this need to be lost?
Where can this little girl build her

    man of stones?

To mark that place where
maps have dragons and
trails have tails wrapping
round themselves,

    where  a l l  is  f i r e,



        no  s o u n d,

                       no  s i g n,

steady light.

(Image: Fall Glacier, Mist at 2,500 meters; the Alps)

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Texts © 1999 Cliff Crego   All Rights Reserved  Comments to crego@picture-poems.com
(created: XI.30.1999 ) (Last update: III.7.2002)