Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Smiling Face (Leavetakings IV)

The green wall of the mountains hums
Silently with life under the grey-veiled sunlight.
I see the joy-valley of my youth rushing to greet me
The pinnacles in staggered rows to either side
Stand like an honor-guard for a returning monarch;
Their heads lost in the smoke
Of greedy clouds who stretch ravenous jaws
To devour the entire sky.

I see the falls that rush down past ferns and spruce
Down bounding grass hills and leaping grey cliffs
To meet the highway and pour their libations at my feet.
I see that mountain with the folds of stone
Like a discarded blanket
Or some ancient sea frozen in its undulation
And thrust up victoriously into the grey waves of the air;
Sea meeting sea

I go on to that dry valley where
Green irrigated fields form a stark patchwork
Against the thirsty straw-coloured hills
And then on to the lake that stretches its lazy legs
Down, down the valley
Tickling its distant toes in some forgotten river
Leaving its sleepy mass in the floor of the vale.

I enter into that city like one entering a forgotten dream
Still lost in the echoing well of the past
I drink deeply its draught but it brings no memory of the city;
Only the breeze of the dry air,
The smell of freshly picked sage
And a smiling face.

Her face
The one I came through all these meanderings of my past to reach
But not to touch
Only to see and to listen and to speak.

But the words and the time have been spent
And the ever-flowing inescapable waterfall of my journey
Has led me back to this city of exiles
Spread in a land with no peaks to watch over us
No falls splash and babble their welcome
No hints of the distant ocean reach this stagnant air
Diminutive parks form a stark patchwork
Against the cold iron and faceless sprawl of concrete
And the steel pinnacles here have too many unseeing eyes.

Yet I strove into past-lands
I spoke careful words and listened to subdued responses
I saw and heard beauty
Only to turn away again
Leaving that glorious sun-blessed, moon-kissed vale
Back in the shimmering fadings of memory
Unaware if I should be drawn there again
By a smiling face.


  1. Gosh, I love this.
    I feel like I'm living it when I read it. Great stuff. The imagery is insane ( and by insane I mean awesome ).
    Please keep it up!

  2. Thanks, this one is close to my heart.

  3. a face you could not touch but feel,
    vivid verse.
    you are rich in emotions and words.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. There are times where all you want to do is reach out and touch someone but distance, society, time and reservations constrain you. Sometimes you must wait.
    This is a part of what is going on here.
    Thanks for your kind comments.


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