Making love to aspens & mountains

here’s a poem I wrote many years ago, and a song by Steve Earle (b 1955) as performed by the Canadian musical group Pink Mountaintops (2004). The illustrations are by Philipp Otto Runge (1777-1810), plus a vintage mugshot of yours truly.  Ending with a passage from Runge.


Realizing Philipp Otto Runge as the Buddha as Yourself

You Feel like Dancing with the Bees               ©


Humming all the words you know,

you could die happy like this, tilting your chair

back on the front porch, cooling

your tea, drinking the sunlight,

letting the spider out the screen door.


You could lay this open book aside

Just Now

and step inside Everywhere

four worlds away or near,

stand face-en-face, naked or veiled,

and BE forever mercy & wisdom.


You could mate with the quaking aspen tree,

with the gossipy stream rippling back

and forth like a green ribbon,

with the fire inside these clouds,

and with the grassy hills rolling

down to the road—all your craziest fantasies,

your earliest intimations.

Mt Vision, West Marin, 1995


runge mug


I Fuck Mountains    

(song written by Steve Earle, as performed by Pink Mountaintops, 2004)

Oh help me
I want to lay down

Oh hey-hey-help me
I want to lay down

I’ve fucked mountains

Oh I’ve fucked mountains

I’ve fucked fire
And I’ve fucked rain

If I had my chance

They’d get done again

But the A-bombs are coming
Oh Oh the A-bombs are coming

I’ve fucked lakes
And I’ve screwed some fakes

And I’ve love sucked
The pink mountaintops

I’ve fucked mountains

Oh I’ve fucked mountains


“When the sky above me teems with countless stars, when the wind sweeps through the wide spaces, when the billows break with a roar in the far night, when the ether reddens above the forest and the sun illuminates the world; when the mist rises in the valley and I throw myself down in the grass among the glittering drops of dew, every leaf and every blade of grass teeming with life, the earth living and stirring beneath me, and when everything is tuned to one chord, then my soul cries aloud with joy and flies in the immeasurable space around me, there is no longer any below or above, no time, no beginning, no end, I hear and feel the living breath of God, who holds and bears the world, in whom everything lives and works: here is the highest that we can actualize – God!”

—Philipp Otto Runge (1777-1810), 9 March 1802, letter to his brother Daniel Runge


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