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Deep Snow

for Randy Roark



Skeletal farmer ekes out next to nothing.

Hermit roams mountains, never seen again.

I start out from the heart of downtown,

Riding my horse, snow in the stirrups,


Lines of Kenneth Patchen’s poem

“The Snow Is Deep on the Ground”

Running through my head––

“This is a good world. / The war has failed.”


In 1927, a single snowfall measured

465.4 inches on Mt. Ibuki.

Deep snow, you who bend the bough,

Who break the branch, crumble the wall,


Whatever false refuge powders the air,

You’re ready––no unfinished business,

Nothing to hold back––emanating graceways,

The narrowest gate passing through.



4 February 2012