Escape into the Mountains

Escape into the Mountains

A Poem by Annette Jay Sweeney
"

My boxing dancers...

"

The tire’s rubber-tipped claws

scrape the ground in fast motion,

responding to the urgency in my feet.

My eyes scan the horizon, chasing

a sun that is falling off the edge

of the Earth. I see it coming, a

trip into space off on the other side

of the mountain, and a push sends

me careening forward.

 

Around a bend I slow and stop.

My hazard lights seem to flick on

with a life of their own, warding off

those that would steal the breath of this.

 

It’s their time of night, twilight,

but I have never seen so many of them.

Their antlers are missing-does that automatically

make them females?-but they stand

at arms, their knees locked, ears rocking

in their sockets to take aim. All at once

two break from the pack, they dance.

 

Like kangaroos they rear up, but they

do not box with their razor hooves.

They strike at each other with their elbows-

or are they knees? No, they must be-

The fists of deer.  Their waltz is graceful,

their ears tipped back to catch

them from falling. White flags go up as

they prance apart, and eyes grow

small, the challengers cringe for impact.

 

---A car passes, my dancers scatter, as if

a great Yellowstone fire doused their

stage. My eyelids flutter like moths chasing

the fading flame of a gas lamp going out.

I look back towards the way I came.

 

My fingers claw delicately at the handhold

I grabbed as I fell off the edge of the Earth.

Back in the day, this was the flat view

of the world.  Water pouring off

in drops that floated away, rain meant for

someone other than me, maybe E.T.?

 

I’m heaving, wheels turning in rugged

dirt, and I’m then on the rusty road home.


© 2010 Annette Jay Sweeney



Author's Note

Annette Jay Sweeney
One night when I was having a nervous breakdown I just started driving into the mountains. I came upon this scene of deer performing what appeared to be boxing. I have always had a deep connection with nature. It's something that my family shares. Something in this beautiful moment made me realize my life was itself beautiful and nothing to run from. I had my epiphany through going into the mountains. I still feel this poem doesn't do the moment justice, but I had to paint my little dancers.

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I dig this poem, i am from a rochester, and while it has beautiful scenery its still a dusty, dingy, city, beautiful in its own right, but not the same kind of beauty as nature. I often wish i had the money to travel and see more of america, or to step out on my front step and be able to hike up a mountain. That would be sweet. Knowing that Idaho is one of those places that is full of natural scenery and beauty, it not hard to speculate where the inspiration for this poem might come from. I do think, however, that there is room for you to improve the freshness of diction, and voice. When i read something by for example, octavio paz, there is a very distinct texture or feel to his poems that he creates through the summation of all the artistic elements: word choice, figurative language, rhetoric, ect.. It is different from the feeling i get from reading lorca, or frost.
Part of the writers journey of maturation is to develop this distinctness, and to find they're, for the sake of metaphor, economic niche; a voice that is distinctly there own and adds something to the body of literature. Obviously, im holding you up to the standard of profound writers who have made it their life long devotion, and neither I nor pretty much anybody else iv read on this sight so far has reached that level of maturation, so dont take it as an insult.

Aside from the philosophical blabber that i just went through, some technical aspects perhaps you could tinker around with, are paying attention to the linguistic function of words and where they are placed in the line. Syntax can change and enhance meaning, and add unique flavor and richness to your lines.

ex.

The blue fire burned in the sky.
Blue fire, in the sky burned.
In the Fire-blue sky burned.

ect.

Kind of a cool little writing game i was playing around with the other day-
trying to find different ways to arrange the same words and create different moods and meanings.

Again beautiful write, ill check more of your writing out from time to time.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

What an amazing experience that must have been? What an uplifting story, especially with the author's notes added. Isn't nature wonderful how it can teach us so much!

This was perfect, I'm glad I got to read it this evening.
Antonio


Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I dig this poem, i am from a rochester, and while it has beautiful scenery its still a dusty, dingy, city, beautiful in its own right, but not the same kind of beauty as nature. I often wish i had the money to travel and see more of america, or to step out on my front step and be able to hike up a mountain. That would be sweet. Knowing that Idaho is one of those places that is full of natural scenery and beauty, it not hard to speculate where the inspiration for this poem might come from. I do think, however, that there is room for you to improve the freshness of diction, and voice. When i read something by for example, octavio paz, there is a very distinct texture or feel to his poems that he creates through the summation of all the artistic elements: word choice, figurative language, rhetoric, ect.. It is different from the feeling i get from reading lorca, or frost.
Part of the writers journey of maturation is to develop this distinctness, and to find they're, for the sake of metaphor, economic niche; a voice that is distinctly there own and adds something to the body of literature. Obviously, im holding you up to the standard of profound writers who have made it their life long devotion, and neither I nor pretty much anybody else iv read on this sight so far has reached that level of maturation, so dont take it as an insult.

Aside from the philosophical blabber that i just went through, some technical aspects perhaps you could tinker around with, are paying attention to the linguistic function of words and where they are placed in the line. Syntax can change and enhance meaning, and add unique flavor and richness to your lines.

ex.

The blue fire burned in the sky.
Blue fire, in the sky burned.
In the Fire-blue sky burned.

ect.

Kind of a cool little writing game i was playing around with the other day-
trying to find different ways to arrange the same words and create different moods and meanings.

Again beautiful write, ill check more of your writing out from time to time.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A symbolic image, these deer; the description of such a ritual adds an incidental power to this musing poem. In the end it seems the crux of it, although there is much alluded to concerning existential things; that almost seem incidental themselves to the sight of this battle of deer. Interesting that this should happen; gives it a 20/20 feel, though the comparison between the deer and existence is not laid-out so starkly as one might imagine.
I think the following line really stood out for me -again, although thought-provoking, still incidental...

"My eyelids flutter, moths chasing

the fading flame of a gas lamp going out."

I like that. A subtly mystical poem.


Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is wonderful I like this

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow! Private dancers and a private rain ceremony. I love how you refer to yourself as "E.T." yet knowing who you really are. You didn't have to tell us you were having a nervous breakdown. I got that from, "My fingers claw delicately at the handfold...I grabbed as I fell off the edge of the Earth." I love each piece you write because you have a true gift to put me right in your place. Not only can I feel what you experienced, but I can truly see it happening.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is a stunning write that just seems to come to life on a night-colored screen... Beautifully portrayed with vivid words expressing this almost surreal scene.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I dig it! I think I can relate to this best because I'm a college student in PA as well, so frustration generally demands a walk in the woods or something of that nature. The way you wrote it definitely captures enough for everyone else who wasn't there to know exactly how you felt, right down to the sounds and the feel of the entire scene.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very descriptive... it put me right in the middle of the scene... I even tensed up at parts from the feel of the piece... I too have a love of nature and am drawn to it so this had great effect on me... I really enjoyed this.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Thank you :). It was a battle to pull this out of myself.

Posted 7 Years Ago


This is beautiful. Being able to recapture such a moment shows great instincts as a writer. Very few writers (myself included) could put the moment in words, especially not words that give the moment this level of grace, creative metaphors, and feeling.

Great work.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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410 Views
10 Reviews
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Shelved in 1 Library
Added on April 25, 2010
Last Updated on June 16, 2010
Tags: deer, sanctuary, run away, falling, saved, road home, revelation, epiphany, nature

Author

Annette Jay Sweeney
Annette Jay Sweeney

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About
Reading and writing have always provided a loving escape for me, but both are now taking on a more serious level. I thrive on reading others' work and helping them to improve, while also depicting my .. more..

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