Wayne Lanter

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From in this house of men


There were mistakes made that day,
the mountain air ominous with clarity,
so clear you could see straight through it
almost to infinity, and the lateness

of the summer, and going to such altitudes
on four wheel drive roads, or seven of us
crammed into an open-top Land Rover.
We set out in early afternoon, which

was much too late, already snow blowing
through the trees, not that it mattered,
though there may be a logic that says
we were too eager to get in what we could,

get in what was left of good weather,
and so a bit more careless than we would have
been in early Spring. Anyway it was the last trip
up to American lake we would make

that year, to the top of the mountain,
where even those who can not see well
can pretend to see all the way to Mexico
or Canada. And we were almost there,

shifting down, prepared to climb the last
small ridge, when someone, it could have been
anyone, a young woman, I think, stood
maybe for a better view, who knows,

maybe to lift her arms and breath
in the mountain air, and the Rover lurched
shifting the earth, and someone, whoever
it was, toppled from the vehicle, heels

in the air over the back gate. Of course
there were gasps, and groans, one shout
of shock, I suppose because no one suspected
death might be there. No one saw him

in the rocks or smelled his breath on the clear air.
But he was there. And I think in the early winter
season he too was caught unawares,
for a moment, just not ready. Then there was

laughter all around, and astonishment
that no one was injured. So if there was tragedy
in this it must be that no one learned a thing
from the fall, which was the better part of the view.



Success and happiness are written in white ink on white paper.
Human problems and suffering are scrawled in blood and black ink.


If you put your hand in water and pull it out,
it will not leave a hole.
But your hand will be wet,
and that is the source for a thousand years of wonder.


It is a short step from
believing in
what is not there
to not believing in
what is there.

in memoriam

Each narrative, be it art, science, or gossip, provides a fragment for the awakening, enhancement, and extension of the consciousness that embraces it.