Mountain and Valley

I am working on a story but it has a mind of it’s own and wants to wait.  Paschal mentioned Pando in a post (a clonal colony of a single male Quaking Aspen in Utah, connected by one massive underground root system). Next I read a quote on zen and reverence on about breathing in and out – greeting and acceptance and the prompt on Writers Island was Message. Connections, intentions, commonality, all on my mind so I hope this will count as an Event.

You would think
Just glancing at us of course
That we are nothing alike
My eyes are smaller than brown
Yours huge as the sky
My mouth, plain, unsmiling

I don’t live here, never did
But you and yours are all up and
Down this valley
I worship on the hilltop
You dance in your glen

I inhale the scent of honeysuckle
Fanned by the robin’s wings
He flew in this morning from
His rambles in the valley
Where you sighed at the sunrise beauty

Over the apple trees that rooted
In rain washed soil from the mountain
That once bore the footprint of my mother
Feet bared, wriggling in cool mud
Through branches where your children climb

Then and now and time to come
Witness borne by earth and sky
Tendrils of all life enfold the roots and
Seeds of lives entwined the message
Carried forth on foot, by sigh

23 thoughts on “Mountain and Valley

  1. old egg

    Worshiping on the hilltop and dancing in the valley both sound good to me. They may be nothing alike but they do co-exist.

    What a sad, thoughtful poem that has a lot of hope but sadly that sigh at the end is not necessarily a happy one.

    1. Dee Post author

      just doesn’t matter where we are or who – we all trod the same sod and breath the same air 🙂

    1. Dee Post author

      Thank you Elizabeth and I can’t believe I am just now finding your website. It is awesome!

      1. Elizabeth Able

        Thank you!

        Right now I have your site as one of the tabs that load as my “home page,” because your sidebar has a nice list of sites under “The Prompts.” Some I know, some are new to me. Every time your site loads it will remind me of my commitment to make a big, annotated list of sites with writing exercises. There is always so much to do!

  2. annie

    This line, more than any other, touched me in a deeply personal way. My thoughts centered on siblings, the common roots of parents, and how different a sibling could be from the other anyway.

    1. Dee Post author

      I’m blessed that you were touched by it and thank you for visiting. You’ve made me read my own words from a different perspective. How wonderful is that?

  3. Jae Rose

    There is so much lovely imagery in here that I am going to have to come back for a really turned the footprints of time,family and place into something physical..very touching and ‘weighty’ like heavy footprints..Jae

  4. paschal

    Dee: This poem is lovely, such delicacy in its rhythms and heart. Though he could be a cantankerous (and yes, treasonous) old coot, Ezra Pound’s Chinese translations have some of the same tender beauty you’ve brought through here. I love the surprises of these lines: My eyes are smaller than brown, That once bore the footprint of my mother, and Carried forth on foot, by sigh. This poem is a blessing.

    1. Dee Post author

      thank you Paschal – hope you are having a good week. Are the urchins still poeming? Ezra will be added to the list though I am hooked on Mary Oliver at the moment..

  5. Elisha

    I like the imagery here, excellent craftsmanship on this one. I have to confess I don’t know what a quaking aspen is. Could you enlighten me?

    1. Dee Post author

      they are beautiful trees with white patches of bark and smallish leaves that seem to be trembling in the wind and in fall they turn a gorgeous shade of bright gold. They are especially striking in the mountains amid forests of evergreens.

      1. Elisha

        Ah I see, I never knew they had this eponymous adjective “Quaking”. I used to live in Gunnison, Colorado and I will have to agree they are a beautiful tree. I was young, but I remember being impressed by them…I actually liked the smell quite a lot too. I remember leaves in various stages of red orange and yellow filling an entire valley somewhere on the road from Gunnison to Denver.

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