“Sourland Mountain in July”

 Sourland Mountain by D. G. Vachal
Sourland Mountain in July

The asphalt fajita pan
white papal smoke ascends
from black aluminum,
naked feet,
temperatures climb, calibrated
for the appointed broiling
of flesh —

Sourland Mountain at noonday
in July:
I listen to the psalms of emerald leaves
upon twigs and branches
uplifted in praise,
the songs of the scarlet tanager,
melodious with the orchestra of Monét clouds
in this gated city of chlorophyll,
a uniform green madness —

Though I walk
through the hardness of rocks
and boulders,
I will not take this green
for granted,
I mumble on every single leaf
of fern, weed and tree,
in the uncomfortable warmth,
while the green is teeming

at this very moment

before the gradual accumulated
turnings of the universe,
of sun, moon and stars
the coldness from its slumber,
before the leaves turn
into empty brown
paper bags
blown by the wind.

by D. G. Vachal © 2013

*** Photography by D. G. Vachal 2013

26 thoughts on ““Sourland Mountain in July”

  1. Absolutely outstanding. The reference to the psalm but rather than a valley of death a valley of heat and teeming with life. Your benediction toward life the high church reference. I’m excited about this one Dee. Really outstanding work!!!

  2. With papal white smoke – the selection made by His grace
    Psalms of emerald leaves – what melodies these wrought
    Uniform green madness – we are all one, yet (madness) different
    I take nothing for granted – anything from Him is not to taken for granted
    Leaves into brown paper bags – our mortality

    I say no more as it would rob the pleasure of others…

    It is my good fortune to read and relish His Gifts through you, a Bearer.

    Peace and blessings, my dear 🙂


    • Dear Eric,

      How intricately you dissect the words of this poem, and discern the function of components. Thank you for sharing your interpretations – I loved each one of them, and particularly smiled at your take on the line “uniform green madness”. 🙂

      It is a humbling honor to be the bearer of His gifts.

      Peace and blessings,

    • Deb, I am awestruck by your perspective and insight about the heat cleansing the dross. I needed to hear that as it is very relevant to me, as well as the focus on praise. Thank you and blessings to you, dear friend. Dee

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