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Silvergate Conversion

Silvergate Conversion
for Dick Hugo

I. Ghosts
I live now, like my ancient grandfathers.
I ladle spring water from a copper kettle.
I touch pen to paper
in my log walled womb -
let it sing to the ancestors.
When lost Friends echo softly
through surrounding forests,
my past wanders about
these darkened mountains
like the silent phantom moose
who parade by my door
in early morning.
In savage moonlight
the specter of my solitude
drifts in the whitened waves
of wind sculpt snow.

II. Competition
They tell me I am the student of Hugo
that my laugh is hollow
with savage freedom.
I have paid six of my years
for this clawhold on a past century.
Now who can hear the river sing?
I declare my victory
in the contest to be rustic
in the midst of a million primitive acres.
I listen to the melody of sifting snow crystals
see myself buried beneath
the drifts of the Silver Gate.

III. Judgement
I am sifting my history into boxes
stored in an obscure closet.
I am boiling snow.
I charge my pipes
to chrystalize ice -
chop old logs for the fireplace.
I construct a pyre for the forgotten woodpecker.
I am melting ice -
Watching ancient logs wither and drift.
I am capturing new historys
with my canon
to save under glass
for the grizzly who ransacks my lodge.
In my snowshoes,
I must track him to his den -
face him
like that shadow of my death
until my life spans
three centuries.

IV. Awakening
We are the warm core
of a frozen wilderness.
We have the religion of forest
full with wild disciples.
We walk on snowpack
with singing electrons
witching water.
We boil our clothing in snow.
We mix our wastes with snow.
We drink ice.
We eat snow.
There is no fire inside us.

V. Submission
You are my teacher.
Broken through to my waste in snow
I know there is only the myth of liberty
in learning.
I accept the chains of ice that bind us.
I bow to the tyranny of wisdom
like the bison nuzzling snow
for frozen grass.


Silvergate Conversion

Ken McElroy

Helena, United States

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 3

Artist's Description


Artwork Comments

  • gdbeeler
  • Ken McElroy
  • May Lattanzio
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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