One place understood helps us understand all places better.

Eudora Welty

Sunday, March 12, 2017


By Gafoto (Own work)
Twice-built mountains
thrust faulted
into the sky

Eroded to nothing
in the Mesozoic

Uplifted again
by the Cenozoic

Ridge runners
and valleys
rock outcrop
on clay

Brooks and branches
streams and standing
pools empty
into the rivers
Cumberland and Tennessee

How high
Rabun and Brasstown

How high
Clingman's and Big Frog

How high
Mitchell, Grandfather and Cold

A bed
of conifer needles

A coat
of Fraser fir

A floor
of Holly leaf
and tuliptree
oak, chestnuts
and hickory

A gathering
of blueberries
and blackberries
and tea

of tree squirrel
and cottontail
wolf, cougar, beaver
and bear

of fox, coyote
and woodchuck
and white-tail deer

Sight the
owl and mourning dove
raven and red-tailed hawk

Sight the
garter, rat
and copperhead
on the mountain path
you walk

Folded mountains
thrust-fault mountains
uplift mountains
Appalachian mountains all.

Talking mountains
who will listen?

Walking mountains
who goes there?

Questions we value
are always answered
if we listen
in the Appalachian
mountain air.

(From Mountain Bound Poems)

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