• Matt Smythe

VIEW FROM THE FIRE TOWER

Updated: Jul 10

I’m reminded of a poem by Gary Snyder, written while a fire lookout in the North Cascades.

Months at a time he’d spend in service and solitude. Thinking.


From six stories up, I can see the attraction.

Sprawling topography of mountainsides and valleys, so much

softer from this height, stitched one to the other in shades of green, patchwork blanket of pine and hardwoods. Hawks rising


higher and higher on thermals, still suspended far below. Candid conversations with the wind. Graceful, shifting, gigantic

balance of dawn’s hue and starry dusk. Active meditation on a passive existence. This tower,


like his, the center of its own universe, one of billions of centers each revolving around each.

Tribes gathering in celebration. A choir looking skyward for its voice.


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© 2017 By Matt Smythe