In The Mineral King

A Townsend Solitaire—

perching on the dead branch

beside the lone entrance

to an abandoned mine—

sends forth its call

unto the high mountains

and the Mineral King below.


There, I, arrested in midstride,

hear the silences between the notes

cast out upon the counterpoint

of the stream sculpting

the mountainside and the sigh

of a late afternoon breeze

strumming the supple pines.


Trembling, I slip off my shoes.

I have ventured unawares into a cathedral

raised before the dawn of time.

The rock on which I stand

is like the burning bush

and the music is as the singing

of the morning stars.


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