“The mountains are so dominant
that some days the people refuse
to look at them as children
turn away from the fathers who beat them”

~ Jim Harrison  from Songs of Unreason


Ancient mountains                              within a blink

stare granite-faced                               when disaster looms (unseen)

rising through tenebrous skies            before the before

in stillness stand                                  when time slows and stops

until the rumbling rocks fall,              and then, you move to avoid the sudden slap

a tumbling torrent,                              of striking blows–too late to turn away–

forever changing what was                 you’re buried in the detritus of dreams



For Jilly’s Day 12 of 28 Days of Unreason, poetry inspired by the poetry of Jim Harrison. This is another cleave/contrapuntal poem or cleaveapuntal or contracleave. . .

Whatever—it’s a bargain, three poems in one. 😉







19 thoughts on “Avalanche

  1. Wow – you do this form well! Love each version, but when I read fluidly from left to right, the motion and the stop-motion and the slow-motion, are …are…. there’s no word here. Over-the-top. !!!

  2. It is a bargain—cheap at the price 🙂 Keep submitting. I’m still getting rejections creeping in for the ms that got me an agent last month, places I’d written off as non-responders.

  3. Not only 3-in-one but additions to my lexicon – ‘tenebrous’ had to look it up. Like how the mountain is unmoving/stony faced and yet moves as avalanche

    • Thanks so much, Laura. I”m glad you liked it.
      I was thinking at first about how mountains often seem to be unchanging, but then of course there are landslides and volcanic eruptions and such.

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