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Gary Lindorff's 'Children to the Mountain'

Book review:

    Under a thunderhead
    in a suddenly darkened field,
    straight-backed against a stone,
    I wait
    like a hunted thing
    charmed into paralysis
    by a predatory growling
    distantly igniting the silver lining,
    blowing the fuse
    of everything I was promised
    as the trees fill their sails
    and the ridge line fails –-
    that giant wall breached!
    Under the thunderhead
    I am still here
    as the temperature drops 5 degrees
    because, not I,
    but something being born in me,
    that has storm-tested wings,
    wants to stay no matter what,
    instead of dashing for the house
    to watch from inside
    as I have watched,
    how many storms?
    unhinge this gentle place,
    while the wind
    drags velvet curtains
    across the valley.


There are 53 poems in Children to the Mountain, and many refer to the “modernity” that Lindorff rejects, with occasional reference to current events and catastrophes such as school shootings, Ebola, animal imprisonment/cruelty---even a tribute to Sen. Bernie Sanders (not surprising, perhaps, for a Vermont poet). Excerpt from “One Day in the Asylum”:

    Like a Stephen King novel.
    There were distant mountains
    Crumbling silently,
    Occasionally a forest would fall down.
    Bees were going extinct.
    Japanese children, eating Minke whales in school.
    The government was busily making tiny atom bombs.
    But who knew what was real anyway?

“Asylum” ultimately focuses on the sparrow that briefly joined Sanders on the podium in Portland. Excerpt:

    Well, that brave little bird,
    Bobbed right over the wall.
    Just to look in on our trouble.
    And everything stopped.
    It is the dove of peace
    Our leader announced.
    It wore a little crown of thorns
    Some say.
    And some say it tweeted,
    Right into the microphone.


story | by Dr. Radut