Mountains Walk on Water
Sunrise a rose-red crack below the clouds, above the fog;
folds of ranges north edges burning
Shadow hollows, dropt-out dewy rounded cliffs,
layer on layer—rock, cloud—
Snaky ridges wriggle the abyss mountain wall mist tatters,
cloud veil thins and peels,
a rush of water running down there rising—
Rose light leaping hill to hill—dark down gorges have no
no bottom to the bottom.
Taiwan’s twenty million people
live below these mountain depths,
soaking cliffs and drippy elder trees.
Where the Sammamish, the Snohomish, and the Skykomish All Come In
The sweet insipid taste of salal
and the sharp sour Oregon grape
grasshoppers under dry
Cowpies China pheasant flies up
broad white dogwood bloom
we tried smoking shredded cedarbark
bubbles of pitch in the bark
pull bracken ferns to throw like spears
shit as they walk
What a life!
the single fly
in the spotless Forest Service
Candle Creek, Oregon
c. September 2007
Excerpted from Gary Snyder: Collected Poems. Copyright (c) 2022 by Gary Snyder. Used by permission, Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., New York, N.Y. All rights reserved.