The Invitation by Orian Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to
know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of
meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if
you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream,
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your
moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of
your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s
betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from
fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own;
if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill
you to the tips of your fingers and toes without
cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the
limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is
true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be
true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of
betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be
faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not
pretty every day. And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and
mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout
to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how
much money you have. I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised
to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the
children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to
be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of
the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you
have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the
inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if
you truly like the company you keep in the empty
moments.

Thank you to Lansing King

Mountain Memory

One spring day a friend, Karen and I were in Cades Cove taking in the visual glory  always found there. She proposed we take Parsons Branch Road as a different way out. Located just beyond the gift shop and grist mill, Parsons Branch is a one way, narrow, winding, eight miles long road. 

I don’t write poetry, but the memory of this rough beautiful ride came out in poetic style. 

Parsons Branch Road

A one way passage
over the gap,
connects Cades Coves
to the mighty Dragon.

Rough enough to makeIMG_0244
a four-wheel drive buck;
quiet enough to satisfy
the longing for solitude.

Treasures hidden
by thick undergrowth,
concealed, except for the fluttering wing
of a ruffed grouse, IMG_0310

The rapid movement
of a black racer
disappearing over a log.

Silent hills absorb the sounds,
a redbird’s call,

water rushing,IMG_0397
tires clicking.

Flame azalea nestle
under yellow poplar
with Bowman’s root
and Black Cohosh.

Mossy logs reveal
layers of lifeIMG_0254
ready to become
captured memories.

Sunlight and pavement
appear, creating the end
of Parsons Branch Road.