The High Cascades

Howard Horowitz

Three Sisters, Little Belknap, Broken Top,
Yapoah Crater, Ahalapam: volcanic names
are strewn across the map.
            (The bilious earth
            disgorged one hundred miles of aa,
            inhospitable to all feet.)

Lava plugged land west of Santiam Pass
and the cold McKenzie emerged from the bottom
of Clear Lake. The old forest was drowned
            (about when, elsewhere,
            Romulus and Remus were suckled
            by a she-wolf.)

According to Hodge (1925)
the Three Sisters are remnants
of a much larger cone
that exploded and collapsed
            (much like Mazama
            left Crater Lake in the hole.)
Today, that idea has been blown to bits,
but I like its vastness of design.
            (Is there room for myth
            in the world of science?)

Hodge (1925), the creation of Rome,
continental drift, the Gaia Hypothesis –
theory (the airy)
as changeable as the wind
            (the wind, too
            Is subject to laws.)

On Santiam Pass, an icy wind blows
and even the crows are hiding.
If you take shelter at Clear Lake
rent a canoe
            (and look down to see
            2500-year old tree trunks
            standing still in cold water.)