Avalanche Chute, Spruce Seedlings


"They released two golden eagles
from the far corners of the Earth
and knew that, where they would
come together and touch wings,
there, they would find the center
of the universe."

Sometime, after the performance is
over, lean your ear carefully against
the wall of the concert hall and let it
speak to you. It is possible that
the wood holds within itself

the countless subtle movements of all past
performances, all sounding together at
once, as silent echoes within echoes
within echoes;

Perhaps it is this resonance of the past
that reaches out to touch
and inform the present moment.

Space . . .
The silence of the
blank page from which
the sound of words

Space . . .

The violin on the table,
not yet tuned,
but we already sense
the almost manifest
shape of all past and
future concerti.
A child might touch it
and hear the wind moving
through the crowns
of trees in a distant forest.

Forest. Wood.

The master carpenter travels
with his two young apprentices
from village to village; they
go on foot and are welcomed
everywhere; with luck, they
will help you build your home;
it will last a thousand years.
Wood. Forest.


(But where shall we place it?)

The mark of the omphalos.

We see it even at a great distance.
Erect, standing straight up into the air,
artifact of a proud geometry.

What was here before this city was built?
Does it always begin with the placement
of but a single stone?

...terra, ....omnes terra,
in exultatione.....


Surely, the river remembers,
and perhaps the older, solitary trees,
placed and planted by others long ago,
ask the same question. You see it in

the way their powerful branches
weave themselves into the surrounding
atmosphere and protect it,

and offer us sanctuary.

Let us go then together,
slowly, hesitantly,
from tree to tree,
you and I,
from tree to tree,
crossing swiftly fences and wires,
and wide, noisy, dangerous

Surreal city,
we pause, and listen
to the sound...

   From a distance,

The mark of the omphalos.

Artifacts of ruler, triangle
and square,

nets, grids thrust out upon the world,
bold gestures cut in stone.

in exultatione.....
....omnes terra,

Unreal city. Unreal.


The orchestra of strings stops,
to tune and tune again,
sensing the hushed sway
of trunks in a distant...


Where we shall place our man
of stones to mark where others
have gone before us,

and who have disappeared,
perhaps, in this city.

Mark of the omphalos.

Not a monument, no supernaturally
proportioned horse
or poet or military man,

    but a dream


Of many who rose to speak
as one of freedom and great urgency,
and at that moment the sound
of all creation passed
through their voice.

.....Unreal city...

Long before, the ancients
knew that the images
of gods could never be
brought down to earth.
...omnes terra......

We stand,
       on a bridge,
                     above a highway,
all highways,


            to that sound,

One breath of the bow,
and the symphony sounds out
in voices of pure silver and glass,

...et in secula saeculorum.....

but a dream,

           — city...

                     .....but a dream.....

(Photo: Spruce Seedlings, Avalanche Chute; May snowmelt on south-facing slope, 1800 meters, the Alps)

| go to back to Above the Clouds: Moving Up into Mountain Time |
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(Created: IV.7.1999; Last update: III.4.2002)
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