Saturday, July 7, 2007

Fragments - The Mountain Spirit by Gary Snyder

ten million years ago an ocean floor
glides like a snake beneath the continent crunching up
old seabed till it's high as alps.
Sandstone layers script of winding tracks
and limestone shine like snow
where ancient beings grow.
"When the axe strokes stop
the silence grows deeper--"
Peaks like Buddhas at the heights
send waters streaming down
to the deep center of the turning world.
And the Mountain Spirit always wandering
hillsides fade like walls of cloud
pebbles smoothed off sloshing in the sea......
Ghosts of lost landscapes
herds and flocks, toowns and clans,
great teachers from all lands,
tucked in Wovoka's empty hat
Stored in Baby Krishna's mouth,
kneeling for tea
in Vimalakirti's one small room...............
Bristlecone pines live long
on the taste of carbon dolomite.
Spiraled standing coil
dead wood with the living,
four thousand years of mineral glimmer
spaced out growing in the icy airy sky
white bones under summer stars.
The Mountain spirit and me
like ripples of the Cambrian Sea
dance the pine tree
old arms, old limbs, twisting, twining
scatter cones across the ground
stamp the root-foot Down
and then she's gone.

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