Circumambulation of Mt. Tamalpais
by Andrew Hoyem
Those paths on the mountainside which neither ascend nor descend
but proceed at a level, are overgrown from disuse
by human beings if ever they went
along these routes.
Animals and other spirits who do not disturb the foliage overhead
walk through the foothills, past the mountain,
without observing its heights or
the surrounding depths.
Because, while in the vicinity, they are among the moving parts
of the mountain, excepted from the prospect of its apex
and its perspective from a distance
These creatures know their locale, make minute observations
of the mountain, recount the pebbles in its paths,
record the fall of leaves, see each other,
watch us climb up, run down.
NOTE: Mount Tamalpais, known locally as Mount Tam, is a peak in Marin County, California, often considered symbolic of the area. Much of Mount Tamalpais is protected within public lands such as Mount Tamalpais State Park, the Marin Municipal Water District watershed, and National Park Service land, such as Muir Woods. The elevation at the West Peak is between about 2,580 feet. The mountain is clearly visible from San Francisco and the East Bay region.