Revelstoke Mountain, 5am by Julia Wakefield

Revelstoke Mountain, 5am
The valley holds its breath
no birdsong cuts the deep indigo
of conifer forests
one peak’s snow patches begin to blush
its neighbour waits, a grey silhouette
for its gilding
at last the harsh crow’s croak
breaks the spell
heralds the rumble and screeching of the 5.30 train
as it rattles the bridge and snakes over
the valley floor
in the cherry tree
the banshee twitter of a squirrel
hurls bold threats
at tiny birds
pine scent mingles with new-mown grass
pearls from last night’s rain
cling to every grass blade
beyond the tree line, bald eagles climb thermals
as the sun marches over
the mountain’s edge
clouds muster and retreat from the lowland hollows
linger in packs, throwing shadows to trap
woodlands and rock faces
the mountain is a moving picture
its flanks morph from cliffs to chasms;
where there was one peak
now there are two
here a clear track;
now there is none.
The day grows old
mountains flood the valley with shadows
swallow the sun
spray stars across the sky
toss the moon from peak to peak.

Photograph by Martin Christmas

Julia Wakefield has spent most of her life working as a visual artist, specialising in illustration and printmaking.  Since arriving in Adelaide in 2001 Julia has focused on poetry and spoken word, and her poems have been published in several Friendly Street Poets anthologies as well as in poetry journals Page Seventeen and Rabbit Poetry. She won second prize in WA’s Trudy Graham Literary Award for Poetry in 2010, and was highly commended in Friendly Street Poets’ Satura Prize in 2016.  She has a special interest in Japanese forms and she is an active member of the Adelaide-based Bindii Japanese Poetry Forms group.  Julia Wakefield

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