Mountain Poetry

Siskiyou Mountains

The Klamath Mountains straddle the Oregon-California border, and are one of the wildest, most rugged ranges in the lower 48.

Fall in southern Oregon is magical. This year especially so. I’m grateful to be having abundant hiking time in the mountains that surround the Rogue Valley. Here’s a poem that describes the over-flowingness of mountain bounty, and its effects on my “bubble of a heart.”

Piute Creek

By Gary Snyder


One granite ridge

A tree, would be enough

Or even a rock, a small creek,

A bark shred in a pool.

Hill beyond hill, folded and twisted

Tough trees crammed

In thin stone fractures

A huge moon on it all, is too much.

The mind wanders. A million

Summers, night air still and the rocks

Warm.   Sky over endless mountains.

All the junk that goes with being human

Drops away, hard rock wavers

Even the heavy present seems to fail

This bubble of a heart.

Words and books

Like a small creek off a high ledge

Gone in the dry air.


A clear, attentive mind

Has no meaning but that

Which sees is truly seen.

No one loves rock, yet we are here.

Night chills. A flick

In the moonlight

Slips into Juniper shadow:

Back there unseen

Cold proud eyes

Of Cougar or Coyote

Watch me rise and go.


Link to the poem here.
My photo, taken October 18, 2013 in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest along the California-Oregon border.

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