May 7 Gary Snyder: Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout

Everybody loves the summer – except for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being outdoors, swimming in lakes, taking day-long biking or hiking trips, the barbecues and all the bounty that nature has to provide, but the downsides are a bit much for me.

Some of the downsides: sunburns, insect bites, stinging plants (nettles), biting plants (brambles), pestilence (of all types, both locusts and microbes LOVE the heat), heat stroke, my apartment becomes a furnace that never cools down and forest fires. Forest fires cause a devastation that is difficult to come back from. They, like all unfortunate things in nature, happen and are necessary. We can only manage them and try to keep the amount of ruin to a minimum.

Certainly this isn’t a poem about forest fires, this is about being a participation nature and its terrible beauty – both the splendid and the horrific – and how those who are not witness to it first hand (those in the city) would not understand how eloquent both are.


Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout

by Gary Snyder

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.

About penneloppe

I like to write horror, dark fantasy and crime fiction. Sometimes, I'll write science fiction, but usually I like to write science fact. I also write screenplays and stage plays. My day job is office work. I live in Seattle and I have a cat.
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