A Different Kind of Poem


A different kind of offering:

Shimmering Ridge

They tore down the firetower on Shimmering Ridge,
or so my grandmother told me last night.
Somehow, I can't imagine it.

She said some person bought the land,
thought the tower a threat
to children (more likely he thought it
a place to attract visitors--and rightfully so).

From the height of the tower
(even though you could not get
into the grey painted house itself,
you could stand on a landing
just below it and look)

what you would see...
it's hard to say,
the ridge changed in a hour
so in a day, month or year,
a thousand, a million pictures of what
is and what is to come, what was,
and what will be again.

So he tore it down.

Every Shimmering Ridge has its tower
and children have climbed them for ages.
When I went, I could see the ghostly
guards in green who chased children
away from the dangerous heights,
the perilous, life-changing sights.

But, when it closed down
parents were still there,
underneath, telling their children
to be careful
to take it easy
the platform is high,
they might fall.

And, of course, it never occurred
to the children that they might fall too.
No, they would drift, a softest
flailing drift and land
as autumn leaves at its base.

The tower held no terror
for those whose eyes were set on
the Shimmering Ridge,
no fear for those who fell
into the rich foliage of fall.

And now, it is no more,
but must always be, a way of
seeing beyond sight, a way of
being beyond mere construction.

The firetower is no more
and stands still on the ridge,
looking out as it always did,
shimmering with the ridge itself.

© 2002 Steven Riddle

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 19, 2002 8:50 AM.

Book Group Discussion--Angela Elwell Hunt--The was the previous entry in this blog.

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