Expression of Facts

On maps, some trails appear as roads

Snow fields melt before winter, glaciers not

The aspen leaf in autumn matches the blackbird’s eye

This is not the place to discuss technique

Famous teas come from high mountains

The crest of the range is seabed

Thomas Hardy called open spaces ballast

At every switchback, the view changes

Cape Wrath does not mean wrath, but turning point

‘In a black bank I found a white stone’

In old photos the slopes are treeless

Cut and burned down to their skins

Han Shan wrote his poems on rocks and trees

Li Po got his songs off cabaret girls from the mountains

Tea-masters call boiling water wild

It is possible to read by moonlight, but not possible to see color

This snow will melt before morning

When they found Mallory’s body, everything in his pockets was readable

In some boulder fields you can stand in dust

And listen to creek water under your feet

‘Crystallized song means stabilized song’

No skeletons were found in the Marble Caves

For winter grass the mountain sheep is wholly dependent on wind

‘Armies climb riverbanks’

In one place an avalanche filled the valley, then ran up the opposite slope

In every country wrens are noisy

Thoreau was a pencil-maker’s son

Susan Tichy’s most recent books are Gallowglass (2010) and Bone Pagoda (2007), both from Ahsahta Press. She teaches at George Mason University, and otherwise makes her home in a ghost town in the Colorado Rockies.