Christmas Day. Standing atop a hill by a cliff hedged with rose bushes, naked this time of year except for thorns guarding a vision of a mountain just out of reach, swaddled in mist, I asked him if anyone else lived in the mountains beyond this hut. He said, 'People have reported seeing an old monk with hair below his knees who looks several hundred years old. I've never seen him, but sometimes I hear the sound of a picture perfect myth: crankled spine rising base to its summit. One slope in shadow, the other with a sunny disposition. Both crowned with snow.


Eyes swivel to where Mount St. Helens, having
blown her top decades ago,
is quietly
being reborn.

Now Mt. Hood
seems to explode: words fly from its peak, an unstrung rosary spells itself out.



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