Kaiser Ridge


Paiute legend describes
The wooded mountain-range
And stone peaks
As a reclining woman
From whose breasts
Issue forth life-giving forces
In streams and tributaries.
Old Placer-miners spoke
Of Fred Kaiser and Kaiser Gulch,
Diggings washed with creek-water,
Sluice-box or gold-pan,
Residual deposits in weathering rock.
The east/west ridge
Divides the two regions,
The slow march of trees
And glacial scour,
Granite cliffs and alpine crests.
The highest point, Kaiser Peak
10,320 feet elevation,
Breaks the tree-line, cairn-field,
Sunlit and windy,
In the Red Phoenix of summer
With the sun at its zenith
And a free panorama
Of back-country alps.

Poem by Stephen Barile


Stephen Barile, a Fresno, California native, educated in the public schools, and attended Fresno City College, Fresno Pacific University, and California State University, Fresno. He was a long-time member of the Fresno Poet’s Association. Stephen Barile taught writing at Madera Community College, and CSU Fresno. He lives in Fresno.