This Great Society - Writing


Illustration: Linnea Elynn McNally

Susan Dale: Mountains are Forever
Illustration: Linnea Elynn McNally


The old mountain eyes, open
When glaciers crushed through creation
Were yet open when Indian tribes
Took refuge in their caverns
But blinking when pioneers
Brought wagons across mountain trails

The wise old eyes, closed tight now
Do not see snow, nor the wildflowers
Inching up their marble flesh
But moving beyond___
until floating amongst mountain clouds
I turn to look back
Through six realms of infinity
And teeter at the precipice
Of memories and mortality
To remember the golden nectar
That dropped on crystal-clear days
Of measured spaces I thought would last
Until I lie by the broken pillars
At the feet of the gods of fate
Uncounted the smiles that stretched wide
My untried heart
My heart to be bitten off and spit out
After an epoch beginning from the womb
Of which I emerged, screaming and kicking
Solely to propagate the earth
With open arms did I embrace life

Life, that snarling, snorting creature
Panting, prowling, clamouring for time
Time, with its warm gauze breath
And spineless shadows
Growing thin in the hours
Stretching into tomorrow

Time, the melting wax and singed wicks
Of those days I sat
On the long hands of clocks tick-tocking
Through lemon-yellow afternoons
Shining with succulent sun

But that same, sticky-honey time
Is running into long abandoned coal-cellars
Piled with the ashes of yesterday
Not swept away,
But lying forgotten and gray

Dim, misty___ the dawn
When I could no longer see
The differentiating line
Between earth and sky
And when others see the milky way
Cresting a crescendo of stars
I see nets of night
Hanging in the skies to catch a waning moon
Creaky mouse sounds run around the corners of my head
And the luminous rains that sing to violets
Chill my bones
Quickly, I turn to the flicker of a shadow
Jump at a sudden light that slips
Into the walls behind time
And know I am two steps away from threadbare quiet
And the mortality sewn into the hem
Of every mortal fabric
We stood beneath it at Calvary
And see it forever and a thousand times
Wearing laurels of victory

Broken from the roots that held me to yesterday
A tumbleweed lost between dimensions
Blind, vacuous___
Being swept along by the winds
Of space, of distance
Across the wounded earth
Into a sky I feel heaving with
heavy breaths and merciful heart
To make a place for me
Amongst myriad moons
And the long arms of eternity



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