The Air from the Mountains


Long winding mountain road
Colours of summer and snow
Cooled besides the lazy fire
You teach me of my willowy desire

Snapping twigs and dry browning leaves
Crackling on an autumn of numbed memories
I sat in a flat, sunken bowl
watch blue-gray smoke twirl an upward dance

Thinking ‘Oh sickly sweet valley! You are impregnated
With a cancerous growth upon your smooth skin’
I dream of travels in the fresh-clear-cool-trickling stream
Carrying glacial whispers through rocks and pebbles

No longer does the valley with it’s strange stories
-It’s heart full of terrifyingly impersonal family ties
It’s sappy, soppy awkward midday awakenings-
Declare itself my home on a dark, stormy night

And the mountains scorn me, mocking from afar
‘You are tumultuous’, they tell me, ‘Riding on a swing
You sold your soul to the unknown, alternately wet and dry
Sticking with the sweet salt of our air-borne tears’

I cannot call them home again- perhaps I never could
My gypsy heart is tangled in a long-term relationship
With fast-flying, heart-thumping, magical transformations
The blurb of my short, hazy life would read thus

But on days of consuming this slow, sunny routine
(I swallow it in one gulp- knives and crinkled paper down my throat)
I wonder about the indigo-bruised cloud flitting on a canvas
Blocked with white-grey-brown rising mountains

And cars too slow on deep, stretching, sloping rains
Heart-in-mouth as we rise to the top of the mountain fist
And a shocking retreat through mazes of brown, mischievous monkeys
Marveling forever at the locals with their hardened sticks

And the heat is beaten out of me- wooden floors, woolen socks
Sitting on large, cold, unfriendly seats
Water trickling down pressed-together thighs
Warmth spirited away through a peeping wind (just stopping for hello!)

And the quilts are too thin-too darn fine
In this strange, crazy, rough visit of a town
A little part of me does swim in the calls of cold
The dreams of winter, the dust of a short-ended romance

I still long for a sister-outcrop to call me
Be sorrowfully silent in your retorts- I’ll find
Another dreary summer retreat someday in the future
Or return to the air from the mountains up above.

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