Chugging through the valley, along a flat straight road;
Traffic whizzing, heat, oppressing--mountains faint through haze.
I know I cannot stand another long flat mile,
Then, I spy an elevation marker: it reads, 1000 feet.
Though air is still hot, my mind feels cooler.
John Denver's Rocky Mountain High plays on the tape.
In my ears, a pressure--swallow hard--and then again;
Feel the "pop," just before I see a sign: 2000 feet.
The road is narrowed, climbing, now;
Valley starts to fall behind, the mountains seem less coy.
3000 feet; trees now offer welcome shade,
A hawk and defiant crow, my company now.
I see a jay, a deer, more trees, more kinds.
The air smells pure, unspoiled.....green!
4000 feet; I have arrived!
All the gold in California is not in a bank or a mine!
It's here: it's the mountains themselves! And it's free!
Though I've never seen the Rockies,
....still, I get a Mountain High.
The Song, Accompanied by Gorgeous Images
John Denver--Gone Too Soon
I still love his music; but more often now, it makes me rather cry than sing along. His untimely death was so sad, such a waste; such a terrible loss of a talented musician.
This poem has a dual dedication. First, to the memory of a great musician, and second, to the unspoiled mountains themselves.
Originally written back in the late 1980s or early 1990s, I made some minor edits in February of 2018.
© 2010 Liz Elias