The flatlands are our home: the fecund plains
with skies untouched by angularity,
roads rulered on a checkerboard of grains,
and rivers sauntering towards the sea.
What is it, then, that urges us to go
where bear-tooth summits tear a salmon sky,
where soil is stone, and cataracts don’t know
that water’s meant to flow but not to fly?
The mountains are the earth despising earth:
in one great striving, all of nature seeks
to leap above itself: even the trees
renounce round crowns for heaven-pointed peaks.
And we perceive our more-than-mortal worth,
ascending Rockies, Alps, or Pyrenees.