(26 DEC 1943 / Wyandotte MI)

13 Ways Of Looking At The Mountains

<I>homage to Wallace Stevens<I/>

I - My Focus pistoned up the rise
      and all at once, the Rockies -
            silhouettes against the western skies.

II - On the road to Boulder
      a pleated ridge crawls north
            like a blue whale bound for the open sea.

III - The intoxicating verdure of Appalachia
      never fails to induce
            a certain mellowing of the spirit.

IV - You 'conquered' my North Face, did you,
      Why, I should freeze your arrogant ass
            like a holiday lamb culled for the sacrifice.

V- Lewis and Clark looked west
      stunned by the Bitterroots' frigid expanse.
            Farewell <I>Northwest Passage! </I>

VI - Pueblos stranded on Enchanted Mesa
      their rock stairs crumbled to the valley floor.
            Should they dive to their death or starve?

VII –<I>Touristas</I> at Big Bend Park
      wonder at its pastel window.
            it's romantic haze a toxic gift
      from stacks across the Rio Grande.

VIII – The humble old Ozark mountains
      dwarfed by the youthful Rockies.
            Listen up, youngsters, your time will come!

IX – We de-bussed to seize the dolomites
      with our hyper-kinetic shutters.
            I paused for a draught of Italian air,
      and felt the whack of an impish snowball.

X - Before Oregon's crater had its lake,
      the mountain scorched the village below.
            Today azure waters preach only serenity.

XI – Look east from Shissler peak
      to the golden meadow
            where the elk herd calmly grazes.

XII – Do mists veil the Blue Ridge Mountains
      or are there really no mountains at all -
            only clouds decked out in mountain attire?

XIII – It's said that peaks taller than Everest
      soar up from the ocean floor.
            So let's go scale the sunken heights!
      They say the water winds are fair today.

<I>May 28, 2010 – Boulder Colorado</I>

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Comments (3)

Poetry works in diverse forms. To fit the form to subject requires rich and respectful knowledge of the craft and of precursor poets. Like Stevens's Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, R.C. Howard arranges imagistic vignettes with skill.
Many well intentioned friends send immaculately snapped pix of stunning landscapes from all over the world. These take an inordinate time to load and tend to be deleted as soon as they have been perused. What a joy instead to 'see' the vivid and individual mountainscapes of this poem without the need for slick photography. Not only that, but on each reading, a slightly different image results. A fascinating array of epigrams to inspire, amuse and enchant. Love, Allie ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
These epigrams are a joy to read. The one about the Blue Ridge Mountains is my favorite. But then, of course, blue has always been my favorite poetry color. My applause for you. Warmest regards, Sandra