Two Poems for the Mountain

When the World Fell Away
by Liz Williams 

How did you feel when the world fell away?
As the ground left your feet, did you know to disobey?
Did you swim? Did you fight?
Did you crawl toward the light?
As the mountain swelled, and then waved,
Did you feel violently betrayed?

Did the sky peek through breaks in the snow?
Was it sparkling white with a shimmering glow?
Did you know life’s fragility as you were tossed?
Was there any moment the mountain looked beautifully lost?

Did it tell you a secret as it carried you down?
Did it whisper your name in its thunderous sound?
Was it drunk on its power as it dropped you from high?
Did it slur as it spoke? Did the mountain tell you why? 

Were you cold? Did you gasp? Did you scream at the peaks?
Did the heat of adrenaline light fire in your cheeks?
Did that moment near death become a gift for your life?
Are you now living it better, having stumbled on a knife? 

I wonder, sweet man, are you ever afraid?
And I wonder if you could, would you agree on a trade?
I’m certain it was never part of your plan,
But tell me my darling, are you now a better man? 

When you avoided your ghost, did you forgive every wrong?
Do you find courage to pursue dreams while others only long?
Do your eyes see the pink at the end of the day
In a clearer and fuller and more appreciative way?
Do you hold each bite to savor all it could be?
Are you different from you? Are you different from me? 

When love finds your heart and bundles it sweetly,
Do you fall for that woman more wholly, more steeply?
Are you tender and slow, love-making more deeply?
When you love, are you fearless to fall in-love completely? 

Does your heart beat louder from the flush of a glance?
Do you linger on lips longer for the thrill of a chance?
Are colors more vivid and striking and true?
And last, are you kinder to the man reflecting back at you?

Ode to Lone Mountain
by Duke Millington 

Come, ski this beautiful Montana mountain with us
and winter's long grasp will quickly pass.
We'll put aside your cares from
the outside world, while
a gentle wind flowing through
powder filled chutes carry
our thoughts.

We ski together among stands of costumed
covered pines, dressing the virgin slopes in
gowns of royal green and ermine white.
Distant mountain peaks shrouded
in an early morning mist,
offer us a glimpse of beauty
yet to unfold.

A golden orb surrounds us in a 
blanket of vibrant warmth,
while natures frosty breath
swirls harmlessly.
Sparkling reflections off new fallen
snow, provide visions of jewels more
splendid than any of our worldly goods.

Our eyes absorb the magnitude of it all,
while skis and boards flow through billowy
white clouds of soft like down. 
The exhilaration of our turns, spring 
us free as any soaring bird on high.
Yea, ski Lone Mountain with us,
and winter's long grasp will quickly pass.

When the World Fell Away is dedicated to Howie, for inspiring a deeper appreciation of life. Illustration by Ryan Krueger.