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dreaming in the shadows of the Sleeping Maiden

Mt. Tamalpais glimpsed from near Sir Francis Drake Boulevard & Butterfly Lane

Hazy sunshine brought another “spare the air day” alert to the San Francisco Bay Area, but it also brought that peculiarly soft filter through which the world can seem at once emergent in full beauty and at the same time fading into a dissolution that marks end-of-worlds scenarios. Spring and fall, neither has much of a chance on this winter’s afternoon but seem to coexist to a degree in the fast-changing angle of light.

*

The Song Mt. Tamalpais Sings

by Lew Welch*

This is the last place.  There is nowhere else to go.

Human movements,
aaaaaaaa but for a few,
are Westerly.
Man follows the Sun.

This is the last place.  There is nowhere else to go.

Or follows what he thinks to be the
movement of the Sun.
It is hard to feel it, as a rider,
on a spinning ball.

This is the last place.  There is nowhere else to go.

Centuries and hordes of us,
from every quarter of the earth,
now piling up,
and each wave going back
to get some more.

This is the last place.  There is nowhere else to go.

“My face is the map of the Steppes,”
she said, on the mountain, looking West.

My blood set singing by it,
to the old tunes,
Irish, still
among these Oaks.

Lew Welch (1926 – 1971?), a member of the Beats, is the author of Ring Bone, How I Work as a Poet, How I Read Gertrude Stein, and I Remain: The Letters of Welch and the Correspondence of His Friends. It s assumed that he committed suicide in 1971.”  (quoted from the anthology The Place That Inhabits Us, published by Sixteen Rivers Press, 2010)