Sunday, September 30, 2012



Larry Gibson, Keeper of the Mountains, 1946-2012

Island of kin and courage, his Mountain rises
as profits leach the seams surrounding rows

of headstones his generous No looked to, his stars
cradled in the mountaintop above the scores

that death-treads rasp after trumpet blasts
loosen the veil of earth. For as long as it lasts,

(and it will last if money can be made)
Larry Gibson from Kayford Mountain said,

No. I will not sell; this much is certain
silent though he is. Once, the rock’s wild burden

and idle summer grasses hushed until
his notion shook the dragline’s swoop and spill;

a buyer’s truck emblazoned with white dust
descended dumbly towards the sacrificed;

hundreds lay in an appalachian sleep,
save one -- he never compromised his keep,

whose summit-memoir summons our burdens, too:
Now that you’ve seen it; what are you going to do?  

With Larry peaceful as the mound of grass
he kept close as he could to what it was,

Kayford’s birds, small stars who persevere,
sing sure as water down a hill, and as clear.

poem by Jacob Strautmann (forthcoming in Poetry Northeast, Spring 2013)

No comments:

Post a Comment