Pearly Everlasting

Gary Snyder


The pristine mountain

just a little battered now

the smooth dome gone

ragged crown


the lake was shady yin

now blinding water mirror of the sky

remembering days of fir and hemlock—

no blame to the magma or the mountain

& sit on a clean down log at the lake’s edge,

the water dark as tea.


I had asked Mt. St. Helens for help

the day I climbed it, so seems she did


If you ask for help it comes.

But not in any way you’d ever know—

thank you Loowit, lawilayt-lá, Smoky Mâ

                  gracias         xiexie         grace

From In the Blast Zone, pages 114-115. (OSU Press, 2008)

Full Publication from Oregon State University Press