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Sourdough Mountain Lookout by Gary Snyder

Once Upon a Time On the Ridge

Down valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain
Pitch glows on the fir-cones
Across rocks and meadows
Swarms of new flies.

I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
Looking down for miles
Through high still air.

— from Riprap / Gary Snyder

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  • Casey Klahn January 31, 2019, 9:18 PM

    There is still a lookout visible to the north from my house. Nothing like them – especially the Washington ones. Green unlike any other green anywhere. Poetry is appropriate for the experience of being in a little raised hut on top of a viewpoint, and hewn into the rock.

  • MMurcek February 3, 2019, 10:00 AM

    Milton by Fire-Light has always been a favorite of mine. First heard a recording of Snyder reading it before I ever saw it in print.