Mountain

by John Stocks


If it calls, it says, ‘Come alone’,
The mountain whose name is so old,
It speaks from a dead language,
A soughing wind, across the bogs.

If it sings, it sings of solidity
A mighty monolithic permanence,
Something too huge for memory to hold.
Its proud immortality proposed
By huge glaciers, remorseless ice flows,
A grudging, settling of the landscape.

An ocean floor once ripped to the skies,
It holds a granite core, a grain of sand
An absorption of all that has passed,
With casual ease, casual indifference,
A terrible, timeless certainty.

If we have a relationship
It is scarcely one of equals.
Do you believe in God?

You remind me that I am dust and water,
Assail me with a rapacious wind,
Bless me with a sunset of pure rapture.
And sometimes I wonder if I am really here
When what was all so briefly present is now past,
When more dark clouds begin to slip in from the west,
Moving with the smooth patience
Of a priest preparing mass.


Copyright © 2012 by John Stocks

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