The poem for the month of January is "I Saw a Mountain" . . . .
A mountain stood upon the spot
Where I now stand;
Relieved of cliffs it once embraced,
Beaten to death,
Crushed beneath the wheel,
Its permanence denied;
It is gone, it is lost within an ocean
That neither you nor I can see;
Nothing left but an image
Etched upon the plate of memory
Which fades a little more
Each time it is recalled.
Its atoms tremble in the night,
Thrown for miles by random winds
And dropped upon the desert floor:
They are ashes, they are dust,
They are the mountain I once saw.
I saw a mountain in my mind,
An imposing monument
And, in a moment, I saw it die.
That vision would not submit
To the words and thoughts
That marched through my mind
In close formation;
Reason drowned in a sea of what I saw;
I couldn’t move and, in my panic,
Sought comfort in the myth
Of lineal experience;
I looked for reassurance in my belief
That something follows something else
And every moment supersedes
The river of moments that came before
But I found no solace in that conceit:
It made no sense to me.
I am lost upon the very spot
Where a mountain died so long ago,
Whose heavy bones were ground to sand
And yet I see it still: I see a mountain
Where none exists and I see, as well,
The shifting dunes that stand in place of it;
A mountain crumbles, grain by grain,
But, even so, I also see
A thousand moments thrown together;
A mound of sand becomes a stair;
I take a step and then another,
I climb, I rise, I walk from star to star
And, far below, I see a world I never saw:
A sprawling forest grows
Where once a mountain stood.
"I Saw a Mountain" first appeared in Lunch Ticket, December, 2021.