Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Calgary to Canmore, Alberta, Canada

to imagine one's self as mountains

so far, Alberta, Canada, is flat,
and the mountains we seek
do not rise before us,
only the skyscrapers of Calgary rise up,
as do the airplanes coming in and leaving,
there are some rolling hills amidst the plains,
and, once we drive past them,
we scan the horizon, 
where banks of clouds 
do a great imitation of mountains
and can fool my gullible eyes,

our car races up a smooth straight road 
at about 100 km per hour,
and slowly, like a thought just forming,
shapes appear, huddled at the base of the clouds,
and the great stone giants called the Canadian Rockies
rise up into the clouds as we seem to sink below them,
both the mountains and we aim ourselves toward a common goal
till the road turns into the range,
the Bow River shows us the way,
as it drains a great long U-shaped valley
with mountains bulwarked on either side,
rocky mountains rise above coniferous forests, 
great bulks of sedimentary stone:
pewter bright in sun and shadowed gray without the beams,
spruce-fir forests fill the valleys 
and reach as high as they can toward the summits,
deep green mats whose moods 
vary with sun and shade like the rocks,
each tree a sharp point ready to pierce the snow
and shake it off to the ground,
a triumph of life here where stone has reached to the sky, 
and ice has sculpted over eons,

I feel so ephemeral within my own skin,
but I feel so much larger, grander,
when I imagine myself as these timeless mountains.

by Henry H. Walker
July 10, ‘19

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