My life at times is felt to be
A snow-capped hill above the sea.
From this great height my soul declares
That all the ills which mortals bear
Are nothing more than wisps of smoke—
My hand scatters them in a stroke!
I wrote this poem years ago at the age when People Do Such Things. Beyond its formal discipline, I don’t know what else to make of it. No, wait, I do. Remarkably it hasn’t ever changed. The words settled into place very quickly and stayed put. No transpositions, no replacements, nothing. I can’t say that about anything else I’ve written. So at the very least the poem is necessary, given the mental soil from which it sprang, for better or worse.