No roads lead there, they merely pass it by
ignoring a river's empire contained
by blue walls that guard a hidden fastness,
and blue blazes scream noli me tangere
with axe or saw or bags of lime.
Even the roads remember, though many
passersby forget. They are apparalled
in its stones, older than the petroleum
tar that binds them one to another.
The foresters and miners have left it
now to those few, hikers and fishermen
mostly, stumbling over the boulders,
detritus scattered by Camille's great tide
back in '69.
Back in the gorge,
dry leaves rattle on trees dessicated
by gypsy moths, the bells of St. Mary's.
They will only later drift to the slopes
where gravity's grip pulls them to water
jumping through quartzite, a vibrant stream.
The rivulet begins just below
granite crests to fall heedless to valley
below, to level and find its polite
name at Pkin, a mountain's untamed
last stand before agriculture prevails.
Stream and mount nurse the daughter of the stars.
Even in a dry season, water still
runs from its original granite home,
becoming the sandstone South in a minor
confluence just north of Vesuvius,
farmers a generation removed from
Montebello and the Tye River.