“I Cannot Ask the Mountain…”

“I Cannot Ask the Mountain…”
(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

I cannot ask the mountain
To carry my burden
For it shoulders the
The cumbrous glacier
The forsaken tor
The desolate scree slope
It weeps already
At its heavy load
Remorseful streams
Of alpine tears
Flow into tarns of regret
Secret cirques of sorrow
Hidden in its granite heart

I cannot ask the forest
To assuage my fears
For it attends to
The capricious breeze
Gathers thoughtless birds
To empty nests
Shepherds hind and hart
To twilight copses
Shelters hares among
Sword fern shadows
Its vigilant whisper
An exhausted sigh
I must let it sleep

I cannot ask the meadow
To save my soul
For it is laid to rest
Its cacophony
Of summer essence
Drained of hue and humor
Unkempt autumnal whiskers
Of dried grasses and weeds
All that remain on its
Forgotten countenance
It has no voice left
To perform last rites
For a dying world
No solemn hymns
Drift from dusty lea
To offer salvation

I cannot ask the sky
To forgive my sins
For it cares not
The callous sun
The fickle moon
The incurious stars
Time itself
Oblivious to all
They are occupied
With eternity
Not the pedestrian pain
Of one lost soul
Standing on the edge
Of a clearing
On a random
Autumn evening
Watching the universe
Spin silently overhead
Through burning tears

13 thoughts on ““I Cannot Ask the Mountain…”

    1. Hey, Mark. Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you found this one to your liking. I suppose my inspiration for this one was the loneliness and abandonment autumn leaves me feeling. Things die, colors fade, night lengthens, day shortens, animals retreat, and it all feels as though the universe has left me behind. Sort of a moody and introspective foray into the dark side of autumn, if you will. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much, Grace. Like I mentioned to Mark above, I was in a reflective mood today for a few reasons. Nature has always been the place where I feel most at home, but sometimes it can be distant and even cruel. Still, while writing this, I envisioned some glorious images of mountains, forests, animals, meadows and the night sky. So, while the poem comes across as somber, it was still an enjoyable experience to write. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Reena, your kind words mean so much to me. Thank you. I grew up on a farm and lived part of my adult life there as well, so I have that deep and early connection with nature. I also was involved in nature photography for several years and that was an amazing time in my life, going out alone in nature and exploring untouched places. I truly feel a kinship with wild places and I’ve always felt the most at home surrounded by the trees, mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, deserts, oceans and animals. I miss nature photography dearly but I have my memories and images to remind me of my adventures. To me, nature offers peace, freedom, and a sense of belonging. Whenever people would hurt me or let me down, nature was always there to restore me, pick me back up and set me on my feet again. I feel the need and desire to pay tribute to nature and I’m so glad you enjoy my nature poetry. Thanks again for your nice comment. It means a lot to me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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