Monday, October 8, 2012

Yosemite Traveling Poem to Lembert Dome

Yosemite Traveling Poem to Lembert Dome

The meadows of Yosemite
opened before,
And lo, yes, song,
this valley,
a Native American word,
and widening grandeur.
I come to bagpipe for a wedding
at the lodge of the Ahwanhee.

Tuolomne signs grow,
as do the early valleys of beauty,
rising through high, dry forests
in the early morn.
This, a travelling poem
in the moment,
writes the present,
in early day sun.

Right thumb taps,
typing on my handheld,
while driving,
inspired -
morning sun glinting on
wondrous, winding road ...
harmonious Yosemite Tao
valley energy, ~
and neurophysiologies of freedom.

Hetch Hetchy turnoff,
Stanislaus National Forest begins,
the Yosemite gate,
at Big Oak Flat Entrance
from Hwy 120,
costs $20 per day.
1 hour to Tuolomne,
I'm told,
its road still open,
and a little farther to
drive back to the Ahwanhee.
I say yes to the park newspaper,
the map and hantavirus information,
and reading this,
want now to head to Mariposa Grove,
with kids sometime,
to stay in that historic hotel,
with musical performances
of early Yosemite, and other reenactments
of those days.
It's 8 am, I think I'll head to Tuolomne,
with piping at 4 -
but let us see -
and with photography extraordinaire
along the way, with handheld -
Cosmopolitan, multi-racial crowd of
touristic visitors,
I see coming through the gate.

Ahead today,
think I'll tune into John Muir's texts
on this trip, and
what Ansel Adams took,
buying some post A.A. cards soon,
on my way to Tuolomne.

Its been more than 30 years
since I hiked into Tuolomne meadows
on the stellar John Muir Trail,
across high Sierras,
after being underway
for about 2 months,
hiking on
the Pacific Crest Trail in 1980,
from Warner Springs,
at the Mexican border,
to just north of Lake Tahoe,
on this leg,
skipping Death Valley.

Hikers can be so
alive, present and independent
in our bodyminds
partly because we're well
from walking,
kind of a dancing through wilderness,
Tom Bombadil-like, in
Mmmm :) 'The Hobbit.'

10 miles from Yosemute (!)
I shoot a dome.
Is this Konya in Turkey,
its Sufi domes of yore
still singing in my mind,
from travels of yesteryear -
and au naturel?

Onward and upward.

Soon after, another turnout,
Olmsted Point,
O beauty ...
I walk out onto sheets
of sand-colored granite
shooting Half Dome -
I just heard a mother
tell her daughter -
An Olmsted plaque for father,
Frederick Law Olmsted, 1822 - 1903,
and son F.L.O. jr., 1870 - 1957,
who both wrote treatises,
or significant words, of
National Park conservation,
and designed beautiful Yosemite ...
and, Oh, beautiful Stanford, too -
thank you,
F.L.O., both father and son -
for these amazing legacies,
and your harmonious visions.

The pace of beauties
picks up -
an alpine lake,
these native names
so poetic.
We stopped on a
Green Tortoise Yosemite trip
here in the '90s,
with Chris Finn driving.

More domes,
riffing on this beauty,
awareness adding to
bodymind, musical engagement,
and interpretation,
with hints of bliss,
but not quite
loving bliss ...
that dome - how to receive it in,
with detail.
How to heighten this
Yosemite-observing inside,
and radically?

Domes and golden meadows ...
in tree green, and granite gray autumn,
I am rolling through beauty.

Tuolomne Meadows arrive.
Is that the concession?
It looks closed,
even like it may have burned,
but probably just ready
for the first snow ...
then, soon after, Lembert Dome -
I park.

3 miles' hike ahead.

There are some characters,
with long beards and long hair,
and drawling, western accents,
(talking baseball),
along this traveling road here, -
and with interesting vehicles.
And I hear a fair amount
of spoken German, -
by a couple,
where she is of Asian origin,
by short-haired women,
who could be feminists,
by two young men from Hamburg,
whom I greet in German.
Germans travel a lot.

Lembert Dome.
7,000 feet?
No, 9,449 feet (2,880 m),
I later learn, and
Tuolomne Meadows are
8,619 feet (2,627 m)
{and Yosemite valley, 4,000 feet (1,200 m)}
above sea level -
high, where air is thin.
In the high Sierra again,
I start hiking
in this ancient serenity.
Now I remember, winded, -
hikers move slowly this high.

Winding up through alpine forests
of Bristlecone pine, I think -
Ponderosa pine
someone else later suggests,
but really ...
western white pine,
mountain hemlock, and
lodgepole pine -
I stop again and again ...
hiking is enjoyable this way.

Maybe I'll insert photos
from this day
into this poem on my blog
- on Monday, on Columbus Day, in the States ...
still want to produce my chapbook of poems,
a first step toward book publishing,
per Gary Snyder's kind email to me,
but now I seem to have
a blogbook happening
under the poetry label here -
- -
not a chapbook.

Breathing normally again,
high, front, aveoli muscles,
under my clavicles, inside,
not straining ...
on in.

The way is steep,
I play this thumb piano device,
on my handheld technology smartphone,
writing and resting.
Two couples pass by,
each with a pair of
light, metal, walking sticks -
good use of arms, as well,
for exrtra movements' sake -
perhaps I'll get some sometime,
REI-brand at that good co-op.
And listening to this forest,
I think about World University and School,
with our Quaker-informed, monthly
business meeting process (hour-long)
where listening is privileged, as well as of
the shaping of U.S. National Parks,
a gift to the world.
Oh, would that WUaS becomes
such a gift, and
diverse, Anglo and Quaker-informed,
as its center, -
Oh, so diverse, with
native speakers of all
7, 413 + languages and
205 + countries / areas making up its
universities and schools,
to become
at least as old as Cambridge,
and with the excellence of
Harvard and MIT,
and so many other,
greatest universities.

The tree line emerges - photo -
must watch the time -
and Lembert Dome draws nigh ...
would like to catch a shower,
put on my kilt and doublet,
and warm up my pipes,
before I play for this wedding,
perhaps even with someone
videoing me in Yosemite Valley,
to put on my web site -
which I later, indeed, do.

Here I sit on Lembert Dome
on a stunning day -
rock and roll -
Cream's 'Sitting on Top of the World' ...
learned some glaciology
from a fellow traveller,
right on top,
at 1:01 pm.

Zip-back time, now,
to the Valley floor,
for music-making,
in celebration.

October 7, 2012

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