A Mountain Mulls

mountain, volcano, countryside

I am a mountain,
Like my peers,
Big and strong
Tall and long,

I may be an
Abode of spirits
Or a pile of ore,
A resting site
For ancestors.
Or a stopover
For pilgrims,
Birds and more.

I grow with
Crusts colliding,
I break as
Crusts part.
One plate here,
One plate there,
I stretch out
From continent
To continent,
As plates yawn.

My orogeny told,
Now I warn you,
As I grew and grow
While you
Pretend to conquer
My sinews,
I triumph each jiffy
As I push you away
From me.

My craggy eminences
Where eyries roost,
And winds howl,
You come like,
Dove-destroyer hawk,
Or throne-pretenders
To clear summits
Of such fain dwellers.

Or geologists
Or rock-balancers
Or some broody poet
Calls me ‘sublime’,
Such is their ilk,
Who wish to just
Extract some stone
From me to slyly
Craft a paperweight,
Or a monument.

Shafting, blasting,
Fracking to gore
The febrile veins,
Bowls and syncs
Of my frame,
In packed hoards
Come reavers,
For wealth that
I shun to ope.

I am no Bennu
Or Psyche,
You don’t value
The pith in me.
What you want
Is talc and tillite,
Graphite and coal
You cut my frame
So close, so often!
Yet not my soul.

May they be
Always on me,
Wavy tamarisks,
Pointy conifers,
Birches, chinars
Herbs and snow:
That sheath me
Like hair and cloth,
Wools of sheep,
Or silks of moth.

They make me
What I am
A beautiful being.
No Olympus
But of course,
Greater and real.
So remember always,
Himalayan are
Your mistakes
To abridge me
And shrink me,
For I can too,
Make sport of thee
As did the deities
Of snowy Olympus.

Sunbeams publish
Days on my neck
As rainbows
Pave chiffony ways.
Clouds descend,
Bathe me up in
Cool torrents.

My caldera spews,
Tongues of lava;
Where one day,
You shall seek
Your pretty olivines
Or marmoreal taws.

I may be Carrara
I may be Shortughai
I may be Palitana
I may be Mauna Kea.
Or some wasted
Windward escarpment,
Where eddy by eddy,
Return currents
With spiritedness of

Sculpturing effects.
Somewhere over
My bluffs of Jura,
I see iron domes,
Between grasses
Like sholas that lie
In Idukki’s midst.
Also far over there,
From my pinnacles
Of Drakensberg,
Amidst green veldts,
I find my Bhugyals

Arakan to Arsia Mons,
I am one element,
One mineral world
One soul,. One pith.
Vaulting upon you
Like Arrokoth
Of heavens beyond
Or like Tibet
Lofty & strong,

Take from me
What you seek
I provide fully,
With full lenity,
Like Heavens
And thy granny.

But child, heed!
Sometimes I am hurt,
And love so need
To give thee more
Like the udders
Of a healthy cow.

Child! Nature bid me
To be close to you
Like waters to prow.
Now that you build
Lovely civilizations
From my minerals,
Come soothe me,
And yourself now.


By Swapnil Mayank

Swapnil Mayank is a postgraduate student in M.A English Literature from Delhi University and in their free time they have been working on projects that they wish to develop into a book. They have been preparing for the Civil Services Examination for the past one and a half years as they look forward to being a diplomat someday.