SITTING WITH MENG HAO-JAN
AT HIGH CAMP SHARING FIRST
MOUNTAIN LUNCH OF SOLSTICE WEEK
"...perfecting that deathless way"
wandering in your poems, Meng,
I've brought pickled herring in onions,
common bowl, sandwiches of fresh ground
peanut butter and wild clover honey. Crackers
for the herring, two oranges, an apple.
Instead of high mountain green tea
I've brought micro ground coffee
for your pleasure. You can name it
while we shell peanuts, peel oranges
releasing pungent juices into our High Camp
Temple, opening our nostrils. Sky clearing,
temperature warming, bad for snow
and if rain comes, we'll stay inside,
read your poems, laugh at the President's
trouble with concubines in the Capitol.
Oh my! The sun just broke through on Mt. Rainier!
This is break-out day. New ski boots
for old feet. Last year's muscles, practicing
packing books and keeping them dry.
I need a new case for eye glasses, will bring
another cup from home to drink from.
When I come off the mountain, I'll write
to the Viet Nam vet, New Orleans
Bayou guide, who showed us alligators
when we went looking for British Petroleum
violations. Nostalgia for polluters
in the Capitol? Let's walk out
and see if Old Snowy opens from clouds.
17 December 2018
get up early, cook noodles for lunch at High Camp. Winter snow dreaming. Five
years from Sandy Hook. That winter, too, found us in mountains. Those cries
reached us because of another fall. What shall we do? we asked ourselves.
Cloth-Goddess Mother Quilt makes a child’s vest from Chief Joseph Blanket.
Twice that now, these children, our children, snow-bound.