States of Poetry 2016 - TAS | 'On the Mountain' by Tim Thorne

On the Mountain


Here where clouds soothe rocks, high above commerce,
I could catalogue the sharper images
of evil but to what use? City tabloids
and browsers will unroll bandages
enough to wrap communal wounds.

The bardic robe sits ill. The mist suggests
the insubstantiality of wish.
Summon a future like some old romantic,
some wacko visionary? Too easy,
too absurd. The gesturing hand

needs to lose some knuckle skin,
get some dried blood under the nails,
learn the tendon patterns for fist
and begging bowl and when to use each.
'Redemption' has always been a hollow word.

Punishment was how this whole mess started:
the penal settlement as solution
became problem; so would they all,
even sovereignty. The facts
sit in the gut like stones or guilt.

Tim Thorne