Archives for posts with tag: mountains

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GREENLAND’S ICY MOUNTAINS (Excerpt)
by William McGonagall

Greenland’s icy mountains are fascinating and grand,
And wondrously created by the Almighty’s command;
And the works of the Almighty there’s few can understand:
Who knows but it might be a part of Fairyland?
***
Read “Greenland’s Icy Mountains” in its entirety at poetryfoundation.org.

Photo: Mountains near Aappilattoq (Nanortalik), Greenland.

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Zazen on Ching-t’ing Mountain
By Li Po

The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.
 
We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.
***
Zazen on Ching-t’ing Mountain” by Li Po, translated by Sam Hamill, appears in Crossing the Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems from the Chinese (BOA Editions Ltd., 2000).

ART: “Fuji, mountains in clear weather” (Red Fuji) by Katsushika Hokusai (1831)

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FARM NOTES (Excerpt)
by Simon J. Ortiz

…”What would you say that the main theme
of your poetry is?”
“To put it as simply as possible,
I say it this way: to recognize
the relationships I share with everything.”

I would like to know well the path
from just east of Black Mountain
to the gray outcropping of Roof Butte
without having to worry
about the shortest way possible.

NOTE: With an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet, Roof Butte is the highest peak of the Chuska Mountains, which run in a north-northwest direction across the Arizona-New Mexico border.

PHOTO: “Roof Butte” found at surgent.net.

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THERE IS A MOUNTAIN
Lyrics by Donovan Leitch

Look upon my garden gates a snail, that’s what it is.
Look upon my garden gates a snail, that’s what it is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
The caterpillar sheds its skin to find a butterfly within.
Caterpillar sheds its skin to find a butterfly within.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain.
Oh Juanita, oh Juanita, oh Juanita, I call your name.
For the snow will be a blinding sight to see as it lies on yonder hillside.
Look upon my garden gates a snail, that’s what it is.
Look upon my garden gates a snail, that’s what it is.
Caterpillar sheds its skin to find a butterfly within.
Caterpillar sheds it skin to find a butterfly within.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

Photograph: “The Tetons and the Snake River” by Ansel Adams (1942)

Song: Listen to Donovan sing “There is a Mountain” here.

Note: According to Wikipedia, the lyrics to “There is a Mountain” refer to a Buddhist saying attributed to Qingyuan Weixin: Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its [Zen’s] very substance, I am at rest. For I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.

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CHOICES
by Tess Gallagher

I go to the mountain side
of the house to cut saplings,
and clear a view to snow
on the mountain. But when I look up,
saw in hand, I see a nest clutched in
the uppermost branches.
I don’t cut that one.
I don’t cut the others either.
Suddenly, in every tree,   
an unseen nest
where a mountain   
would be.

 Photo: Byota Art, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“Choices” appears in MIDNIGHT LANTERN: New and Selected Poemsby Tess Gallagher (Graywolf Press, 2011)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tess Gallagher is a poet, essayist, and short story writer. She attended the University of Washington, where she studied creative writing with Theodore Roethke and later Nelson Bentley as well as David Wagoner and Mark Strand. Her honors include a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, two National Endowment for the Arts awards, the The Maxine Cushing Gray Endowed Libraries Visiting Writers Fellowship (University of Washington), and the Elliston Award for “best book of poetry published by a small press” for the collection Instructions to the Double (1976). (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

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SUMMER HAIKU by Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694)

Along the mountain road

somehow it tugs at my heart —

a wild violet

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DAY’S DRIVING DONE
by Gary Snyder

Finally floating in cool water
red sun ball sinking 
through a smoky dusty haze

rumble of bigrigs,
constant buzz of cars on the 5;
at the pool of Motel 6
in Buttonwillow,
south end of the giant valley,
ghost of ancient Lake Tulare

sunset      splash.

##

“Day’s Driving Done” appears in DANGER ON PEAKS, poems by Gary Snyder (Shoemaker Hoard Publishing, 2004). In the photo above, Gary Snyder reads from the collection.

Here’s the book description from Amazon.com:

As a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, bioregional activist, Zen Buddhist, and reluctant counterculture guru, Gary Snyder has been a major artistic force in America for over five decades, extending far beyond the Beat poems that first brought his work into the public eye.

Danger on Peaks begins with poems about Snyder’s first ascent of Mount St. Helens in 1945 and his learning that atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the morning of his descent. Containing work in a surprising variety of styles, creating an arc-shaped trail from these earliest climbs to what the poet calls poems “of intimate, immediate life, gossip and insight,” Danger on Peaks is Snyder’s most personal work ever.

Born on May 8 1930, Gary Snyder turns 83 today — and we’d like to wish this superb poet a very happy birthday.

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THERE IS A MOUNTAIN

Song Lyrics by Donovan Leitch

Look upon my garden gates a snail, that’s what it is.
Look upon my garden gates a snail, that’s what it is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
The caterpillar sheds its skin to find a butterfly within.
Caterpillar sheds its skin to find a butterfly within.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain.
Oh Juanita, oh Juanita, oh Juanita, I call your name.
For the snow will be a blinding sight to see as it lies on yonder hillside.
Look upon my garden gates a snail, that’s what it is.
Look upon my garden gates a snail, that’s what it is.
Caterpillar sheds its skin to find a butterfly within.
Caterpillar sheds it skin to find a butterfly within.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

Photograph: “The Tetons and the Snake River” by Ansel Adams (1942)

Song: Listen to Donovan sing “There is a Mountain” here.

Note: According to Wikipedia, the lyrics refer to a Buddhist saying attributed to Qingyuan Weixin: Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its [Zen’s] very substance, I am at rest. For I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.

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CHOICES

by Tess Gallagher

I go to the mountain side

of the house to cut saplings,

and clear a view to snow

on the mountain. But when I look up,

saw in hand, I see a nest clutched in

the uppermost branches.

I don’t cut that one.

I don’t cut the others either.

Suddenly, in every tree,   

an unseen nest

where a mountain   

would be.

 Photo: Byota Art, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“Choices” appears in MIDNIGHT LANTERN: New and Selected Poems by Tess Gallagher (Graywolf Press, 2011)