Accepting Heaven at Great Basin
When you doubt the world
look at the undivided darkness
look at Wheeler Peak
cliffs like suspended prayers
contemplate the cerulean
the gleaming limestone
the frozen shades
look at the bristlecone pine
a labyrinth to winding wonders
listen to the caves
remember the smell of sagebrush
after a thunderstorm
that Lexington Arch
is a bridge of questions
in the solitude of dreams
distances disturb desire
to deliver a collision of breaths
the desert echoes
in this dark night sky
stars reveal the way
a heart can light a world.
When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful
and terrible thing, needful to man as air,
usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,
when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,
reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more
than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:
this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro
beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world
where none is lonely, none hunted, alien,
this man, superb in love and logic, this man
shall be remembered. Oh, not with statues’ rhetoric,
not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,
but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives
fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.
and let your breath
be stolen away.
Find the forests,
seek the seas,
on the mountains,
We are nurtured
by nature, born
for the wild places;
we’ve no business
in cities, in buildings
taller than trees
and begin living
–Tyler Knott Gregson
Typewriter Series #1487
You Are Oceanic
All she wanted was to find a place to stretch her bones.
A place to lengthen her smiles
and spread her hair
a place where her legs could walk without cutting and bruising
a place unchained.
She was born out of ocean breath.
I reminded her; ‘Stop pouring so much of yourself into hearts that have no room for themselves
do not thin yourself, be vast.
You do not bring the ocean to a river.’
Mountains In Twilight
Mountains have a dreamy way
Of folding up a noisy day
In quiet covers, cool and gray.
Only mountains seem to know
That shadows come and shadows go,
Till stars are caught in pools below.
Only mountains, dim and far,
Kneeling now beneath one star,
Know how calm dark valleys are.
–Leigh Buckner Hanes
“Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable change
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated — so:
‘Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges —
‘Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!'”
–Rudyard Kipling, “The Explorer”
In the dark,
Brighter than many ever see.
Through the soul’s own mastery.
And now the world receives
From her dower:
The message of the strength
Of inner power.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
“Great things are done when Men & Mountains meet
This is not Done by Jostling in the Street.”
I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
–“Sleeping In The Forest,” Mary Oliver