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My poem "Children to the mountain" and brief commentary

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Like flashes of light,

like chalk on a cave wall
these words
we will learn anew
like first steps,
like children.
But we're not children anymore

except to the mountain.


A little while ago, I wrote and blogged about my poem,"There is a mountain". In that poem I am driving toward a mountain that lies far ahead of me, that "rises from the bleeding edge of familiarity". By the time I get to it, I will have changed into an eagle and the mountain, far from overwhelming me, will be my home. I think it is obvious that that poem is about death and rebirth. That "mountain of mountains" does not exist in this, what a shaman might refer to as, the middle world. In this poem, "Children to the mountain" , the mountain itself is changing, or it wants to change. It reveals its dreaming, and, at the same time, it invites us into its dreaming. It is also a poem about birth, that is, second-birth, but there is no hurry because, even though we are adults, to the mountain we are, and will always be, children who must learn (or relearn) a sacred language that will help us to survive and maybe even flourish.
There are a couple of ways that the poem imagines our progress: first we are advised to suspend our momentum like the dragonfly, second we must learn how to move forward by incremental steps, once we know the way. Our children are described as "canaries". They have the song. They are precious, for lots of reasons. They come from far away, just as canaries come from well, let's say, the Canary Islands.
The poem is divided into numbered sections because, like the chalk faces in the cave, the stanzas present as bursts or flashes of images and metaphors. I will finish by saying that in this poem, we are challenged to step into our real adulthood but, at the same time, to remember that we will always be children to the mountain whose dreaming precedes us and whose longevity is measured in eons -- a reminder that forming a partnership with Earth, as important as that is, is nothing compared to a mountain's dreaming. And yet in some mysterious way, as hinted in "There is a mountain", we can evolve to share in the mountains dreaming. The key is allowing ourselves to be reborn.

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger  and author of several books, the latest: 13 Seeds: Health, Karma and Initiation. Over the last few years he has begun calling himself an activist poet, channeling his activism through poetic (more...)

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