The Book of Days and Marmots


Some climb so they may live, while others
Live among the heights,
And take it only as their due,
The chosen few
Who placidly ignore the sights
Among the high lands of their fathers and mothers.

Some struggle daily to be anything like free,
While others freely roam
And give no further thought
To what they have that can’t be bought
Like peace and home,
And taking mealtimes in the place they want to be.

Is there a place for you beyond the hurry,
On a mountainside to dwell
Within a place to call your own?
A touching stone:
More sound and safe than you could tell,
Just past the edge of all your sorrow and your worry?


Idly, upon the hills,
They spent their better days;
Sorrow came like sudden rain,
Darkening their ways

Once, the sky, in brightest blue,
Was in state arrayed:
Memories, grown dark, that drift
Slowly off
To fade


Do not judge me by
Appearance —
I am small, but strong.

Unlike some,
Who are big, but who
Live as fools.


I sing a song of mountains high,
And crystal air, and skies still pure:
My voice, it carries, swift and sure,
To those who know the battle’s nigh.

The battle’s nigh, and will be long,
To keep the hills and forests green
Beyond a world grown dank, obscene,
Where there sounds yet a mountain song


They called me a “fat squirrel” because
They didn’t know my name;
My type they’d never seen before,
And so, they did defame

My very self, with imprecations
On my size and weight:
But I’m a marmot, dammit —
That’s a blessing, not
A fate


We climbed for half a day; the Tirol Alps
Lay well around us, everywhere we looked,
Ablaze with life and light. And naive us
Expected Julie Andrews to show up.


Past sweeping swaths and heaving hills,
A mountain made of madness;
A covert camaraderie,
A gluttony of gladness

A paradise of paradox,
The half-known on the heights:
A man among the marmots,
Who belongs to

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