Tuesday, 17 April 2012


it all seems so much clearer up here on the dark mountain
among the majesty and the grandeur
breathing the rarefied air
up here there is a sense of scale
that dwarfs the petty concerns of women and men
the views panoramic
a broad concave arc of coastline
a craggy range of snow-capped peaks
this topography demands a radically different literacy
far removed from the impotent lines and squiggles of the page
the close contours stiffen the sinew
this timeless wilderness whispers of how our ancestors once lived
without creature comforts
free from the tyranny of the clock
out of the harm's way of lunatic drivers
undisturbed by ice cream vans and amusement arcades
even communication signals are blocked by the mountain's uncompromising bulk
leaving the poor believers tapping frantically at their palm pilots
helplessly scratching their heads
this mountain has stood the test of time
it has watched as men crawled out of their primordial swamps
and scuttled about in the valleys below like busy ants
just as easily crushed
up here the freshly fallen snow lies unsoiled
an unprivatised common that knows no hosepipe ban
glacial lakes hold up mirrors to the sky
and delight in what they see
like its fluid counterpart the broiling sea
the dark mountain forces us to confront existence in extremis
heals us with its beauty and drama
reminds us of where we came from
and what we have forgotten

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