Atop Mt. Harvard, May 1976, poetry by D.R. James at
Matt Gross

Atop Mt. Harvard, May 1976

Atop Mt. Harvard, May 1976

with a Line from Major Jackson

written by: D.R. James


“You must ascend a mountain to learn
your relation to matter.”
—Henry David Thoreau

The summit staged a glimpse. The West became
a canvas. When I’m dispersed, it draws back.
That chalked terrain: peaks pleated, engraved, cocked-
pinched infinity, fabric embroidered
with the white flares of lingering snowpack.
I thought, how else might I conjure heaven?
My mind’s museumed, hammered facts, haloed
proofs, disturbed forever. Imagine them
clenching fists at infringement. They’d had god’s
licensed niche, and the jig was all but up.

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