Friday, January 29, 2010

Love Sick Sierra Struck

It has been two years
since I set foot in your hills
and drank the melt from the snows.
You Know, and I do
and i Know you, at least I remember.
My bear out wounded and wailing.
Do you Know, still remember my footfall?
The smell of your air
it's dense and brings me out Bishop,
or Lone Pine or Mammoth.

A valley, or basin, or glacial lake
I still call you home, you Know.
And the Rockies I've been but
not even for longer, but
I do not sick and tremble for them.
Desperate for you to remember
and Know in your incline that
I was created, I breathe prayer
that you still Know
that I will return,
my Sierra Nevada
please remember;
please,
Know.

2007, Michael Salonius

Mountain Poetry

There are some things that are so distant,
So remarkably difficult to describe,
Only analogy can illuminate:

Many granite peaks;
Always cold, very hard.
Views different, often remarkable.

I take each one with me,
Into each mountain thin air.
Cold wind, bright crisp sun;
The pines seem to notice.

How can i swallow them up,
So many tipped, blood soaked sunsets?
How can i frame a vastness
Uncompromising?

Bristlecone and heat-stoked desert
Beneath alpine meadows.
Contrasting intolerable extremes.

And lighting splits
Slumbering rock
Of what glaciers carved.

Please John Muir teach me how,
How you sat on tree's branch
In a blizzard
Just to see the pinecone dance.

I shame my legs
And their inability to climb,
While yet i've seen so many tops.

There is a dry dust
Amidst the alpine lush
And while it breathes life,
Its comforts are not soft.

2007, Michael Salonius

Rocky Mountains

I have never really known
how old and broken you are
how sinewy with granite and punished into form.
Since your piney bed is soft
and your rivers are swollen and pregnant
i did not estimate that your heights
had been so severely diminished.
For however many sunsets
cast shadows on ancient rocks
that no frame was wrapped
into something that could acknowledge you.
And yet again desperation
for reunion with some place
that speaks lodgepole pine or ponderosa.
No where near that rocky spire
that i hold in my mind's eye
could set free in earnest
what earthly goal you were set forth for.
For your errand, the most fertile plains
births the most vibrant herds
but your place is shattered and tossed
so that wind and sun and snow
are the only transitory witnesses
to the purpose you once served.
And i can never return to these
broken rocks, but for at least that one,
that one mountain, that one day,
that shadow, that small patch of earth,
surrendered its first and last show of self
and for that moment, your millions of years
of history existed, and for that
we were created for each other.

2009 Michael Salonius

Dirty Faces

We are the ones with Dirty Faces
Oh, left and flung wide;
see scattered light, catching
sun with our little prisms.
Our hands are soiled.
Little fingernails reveal digging
through backyards;
buried our toys when searching
for hidden treasures.
Our little bodies bristling
with the excitement of
what adventure called to
consciousness, the edge of
our Kingdoms.
We, the little faces, water the pale flowers
with the tears of our sojourn;
We, with our dirty faces, find refuge
in our overgrown Gardens.

-Michael Salonius
ⓒ2009