52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

15. Short Eastern Sierra Poem #3


A psalm furnished the words to a praise song
we sang in high school, at Trinity Presbyterian Church,
over many Wednesday nights:

I lift my eyes up to the mountains. 
Where does my help come from? 
Landscapes like this help me want to believe

My help comes from You, maker of heaven, 
creator of the earth. We catechized like this,
in melody, in suburbs built away from but relying on

mountains--for water, if for nothing else.
We lifting our voices with the band never thought
of this connection, or I never did.

Beginning the descent into Owens Valley, heading south
toward Bishop, I see again how mountains via snow
melting to aqueducts lead the highway,

which leads our car carrying bodies made
mostly of water--mostly invisible, thoroughly helpful.
By helpful I mean constitutive.

By thoroughly I mean essential. By invisible I mean
internal, except for when a body cries or spits
or sweats. By mostly I mean in the main.

By bodies I mean myself and my wife and my children.
They like me have thirst, their help is all around them.
The figure in the song is spiritual, physical, possibly literal.

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