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   Mountains and Rivers without End (part)

                           Gary Snyder

Clearing the mind and sliding into that great creative space,

a web of waters streaming over rocks,

air misty but not raining,

seeing this land from a boat on a lake

or a broad slow river,

coasting by.

The path comes down along a lowland stream

slips behind boulders and leafy hardwoods,

reappears in a pine grove,

no farms around, just tidy cottages and shelters,

gateways, rest stops, roofed but unwalled work space, -

- a warm damp climate;

a trail of climbing stairsteps forks upstream,

big ranges lurk behind these rugged little outcrops -

these spits of lowground rocky uplifts

layered pinnacles aslant,

flurries of brushy cliffs receding,

far back and high above, vague peaks.

A man hunched over, sitting on a log

another stands above him, lifts a staff,

a third, with a roll of mats or a lute, looks on;

a bit offshore two people on a boat.

The trail goes far inland,

     somewhere back around the bay,

lost in distant foothill slopes

    & back again

at a village on the beach, and someone's fishing..............

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