I return to the valleys and hills, following channels overland into dips.
The ceiling’s low, roof gone. I taste yellow smoke mixing with the roots of a cloudbank. Lichen moves fast and waits to dry.
People here talk about the mountain. On a ledge off its skull I watched flocks of mist. The bark behind me was vapour-soaked, streaming as air collided with trunks. The ledge drooled, too – increasing itself, raining onto boulders below, onto people.
There’s no road. A marsh overflows. At sunrise it’s liquid heat, during a shower it bounces. Night, it’s a puddle or a shaft.
A hearth at each end with strong stone mantles, faces scraped with the design.
A full well is a disc on the field, I stumble from it, into a gutter dug in a large rectangle, a charm.
Two crows make a clay bowl and set it on a bough. The people are bent away from me tending to something on the ground. Feathers are twined through dung and small flowers or insects appear. Whatever stirs, shifts earth and stone around it like a skin.
Under the mountain, a mountain-sized dish. I recall some place where the tide passes rapidly through a city, loud as blood.
These people leave stumps, and inside the stumps hollows of peat like broken pots that collect and spill. It’s a big world.
I join them standing under the owls, who will not speak. We’re in a crater looking up. Our voices sink.
I can’t see a road. My chunk of stone grows, overflows with dew. What doesn’t absorb goes upwards, I touch it speeding along splitting into three or four ways. People tell a story about form.
When is a bridge no longer a bridge? As the creek goes under it becomes a river. The road enters it willingly. Plains stand high above. I throw in armfuls of sticks including the big one I carried for protection.