The north face of Monte Disgrazia in Valmalenco, Lombardy, Italy



             Granite towers,

                         sentinels of the past,

                                     warners of these days.  

             The child phantom

                         wanders through the hollow,

                                     to collect its fragments

                                                and put them together again.  


             Back to its present,

                         as ridges and clouds

                                     officiate the rite of yore.  

             No sound from the glacial basin,

                         nor from the sloping conifer forest.

                                     No drifting voice.

                                                No echo. 



                         makes itself

                                     whisper, word, cry.  

             Anything ambient

                         betokens the intangible

                                     and speaks by its appearance.

                                                And the water still runs downhill.




               First published in Poesia (USA)