Rattlesnake Ridge, 2010

From Rattlesnake Ridge


I think of Cumbria, of my origins, of the

sight of this valley in the Holocene (were we

here together, before these slow-made moraines?) of

the tawny pele tower bedaubed in May

with marigold and lilac,

heirloom splendors strangely achroous at

certain times of day. He is distant, difficult.

Fits uneasily on the rough-hewn cross

Robert de Cliburn must have had made. Did he

face this same charry brink alone? Or

the dance of a red-tailed hawk on flumes of warm air,

in full pivot-tilt on a wing of his own making,

the fabled arcs it's traced since learning to fly?

From where I am you are redemptive,

untouchable. Pushing stillness before

you, lifting even the wind from the

Earth, while:

Dawn picks through the dark thicket

through which I've just come -

smudges of bloom persist like just-

poured champagne, high-scents of wild sage

and sprucetips are in the air. Manes of hyssop and

lupine glitter in the sun.

Mt. Si the profile of a spent lover.

Who and where are you?

Loping unoriginally, you pass by unaware.