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10 Mountain Poems

Rocky slopes, Spanish Pyrenees

Rocky slopes, Spanish Pyrenees

How Mountains Inspire Poetry

One of the strongest images I remember from a childhood Nature book was that of a mountain crag in Scotland where a Golden Eagle had her nest. It was such an inspirational picture for me. In the foreground was the bird with her chicks, beyond her the peaks of the Highlands. Wonderful.

I've been hooked ever since. I not only still love birds but have this attraction for mountains of all shapes and sizes. Whenever I can I head off to Spain or other craggy parts of Europe to walk and climb.

Sometimes inspiration comes and a poem or two appears.


Looking towards Santa Engracia

Looking towards Santa Engracia


Santa Engracia


We're above birds of prey

heading for Gurp, island

of honey and goats

in a sea of mountain.


There an old man sits

below the cool caves,

beret and two sticks,

waiting in a beautiful way.

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Beyond Gurp

Beyond Gurp

Ermita de Ste Pere


Prayer

supports a mountain


hollowed space for shy

Peter


the mountain tolerates

a mantra


unlike flowing water

which is there but is gone.

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South Of Tremp, Pyrenees,Catalonia

South Of Tremp, Pyrenees,Catalonia

Gran Sasso, highest peak in the Italian Apennines

Gran Sasso, highest peak in the Italian Apennines


The Family On Gran Sasso


Engulfing mists mingle and creep

up, innocent at first carrying valley dew,

a novel way to moisten hair.


Becomes an eerie massage

ending the world tree

by tree, peak by peak, son by son.


It hangs around, a cloud mime. Climb

out of your own head a voice whispers,

up to the crumbling summit


of this anaemic trembling rocca,

climb to where the six nuns rest,

kissers of graffitid rock.


They're gone, ghosts into scrub beech

one by one, their crucifix carved

their day veiled.


The falcon mopes in this dream steam,

blindly timing his limits of flesh and bone.

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Looking north towards France from Catalonia,Spain.

Looking north towards France from Catalonia,Spain.


Short Recipe For Escapism


Put a stranger on a mountain

of your choice,

measure out awe

in days, enough story, history,

add a pinch of fear.

Follow them

up a single diminishing track,

mix elation and dust ,

reduce to a particle

that somehow in your housebound

mind feeds the spirit,

simmering on horizon's range.

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Griffon Vultures

Griffon Vultures

Griffin Vultures


October wind chills the light

on distant first snow.

Winter

whistling, no casual observer,

sets the scene on edge, saw

teeth cutting the air

the mountains shape.


Vultures sense the change

of emphasis, gathering

in solemn spirals, wheeling

into the sun


a glorious totem

we want to applaud


the disappearing show

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Rif Mountains, north Africa, from Spanish mainland

Rif Mountains, north Africa, from Spanish mainland

Seeing Africa


Looking into unkempt

grass,

rented weeds


taxing the dreams

of my brain


meandering along

tarmac borderlines


almost afraid to acknowledge

welcoming cloud.


There you are

reflected in glass


in a spectral haze


you only exist

when we reach a certain point

where water revels

through tumultuous light


way south of Granada


just conjured up

out of unkempt grass.

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Catalonian Pyrenees near Tremp

Catalonian Pyrenees near Tremp


In Mountain Woods


Last year we found

the horse, in extremis,

pine scent in those

soft moist nostrils.


Hunter's bullet

for a broken leg,

dry sweet woods

gathering prayer.


Now bleached bones,

scattered shadows.

All of its creatures

this mountain knows.

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French Pyrenees

French Pyrenees

Looking north west to the higher Pyrenean foothills above Gurp.

Looking north west to the higher Pyrenean foothills above Gurp.

Andalucia


Lorca drank water

from the high mountain,

sipped and relieved

his darkening soul.


The clear blue

above the sierra;

you could leave

a pure voice


up there, songs

of lovers and heroes

heard in fountains

on a cool street


with a filigree

of finch, bitter orange

trees and those

unfathomable shadows.

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Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands


Climber


Fallen, the climber

who never gave his name?


Last seen, you'd swear,

smiling, the south face


burning orange where

the dead zone comes alive.


He had reasons to stay put.

Love being amongst them.


They never ask questions

until the answer is known?


Does the conundrum start

or finish here?

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Picos de Europa, Cantabria, Spain

Picos de Europa, Cantabria, Spain

The Last Bear


On the plinth a sculptured bear contemplates hairline cracks,

stone skin stretching like fabric across time that has been running out

on the male bear the scruffy brown bear that wakes in spring to find

the females gone from his rock strewn slopes


he sniffs the time the scent of time invades his skull he claws

tall pine and marks the line he follows the boundary of his reign

to cross the path laid down by man first and last first and last

the honey

sheep

wild boar

he takes then stands looking out listening for the familiar, sniffing time.


Mirador del Oso Picos de Europa

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© 2012 Andrew Spacey

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