Running Down the Mountain

At the tip top
Mountain top
The last ridge skyward
And the sun a ball
Above the tips
Of white mountains.
And from this point
The steep falling away of rock
Down to the valley floor
Already now in shadow.

The sky’s too empty.
Home, feet
The earth’s our mother

Jump on the precipitous glacier
A summer snowslide slipping
Sliding down a thousand feet
Off like an otter
A curve of motion
And now a talus slope
Straight down and down
With fine rock moving
Mountain moving
Rock river rumbling
Rock walker ride
A wave of rock
A waterfall of rock roaring
Run with the flow, and run toward the edge
Leap from the sliding talus
And grasp the mountain immovable.
Granite cliffs leading down
Down to mountain meadows steeply sloping
Grass and flowers
Dall sheep grazing
Down, O down.

Feet run their way
Arms are wings
The mountain sings.

Down through the evening dark
Of fir and pine
With golden streams
Of setting sun
Down, down
On thick moss skimming
Into shadows
Of the valley.

A night bird calls
The creek sings welcome home.
Look up,
The mountain peak is scarlet in the dusk
And there’s the evening star.
Now light the fire.

~ Sandy Cameron

Northern Stories

Northern Stories - Cover

Northern Stories - Cover

ISBN 978-0-9735133-2-5

These are stories and poems about Sandy Cameron’s adventures prospecting in Canada’s North. They tell of encountering a grizzly in a hot mountain pass: “no voice to call / no legs to run / no me to move”, and the pure delight of running down a mountain slope: “Rock river rumbling / rock walker ride”.

Central to the stories is a deep sense of the beauty of nature: “almost pulled out of my boots / by the sky / and the beckoning mountains”, and a feeling of relationship among the smallest and largest the we perceive: “Silence united us with the sleeping mouse and the distant stars.”

And subtly, Sandy hints that we need a more just society: “We don’t live up to the beauty of our land.”