Mountain Tales (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Mountains surround the place where I live, filled with interesting folktales and historical notes from the past.]

Folks have talked about the trails

       which weave like unraveled yarn

  through the mountains yonder

        …. just folks from around these parts

                         like those grizzly old men who

                              take up residence on the wooden porches

                                   in front of the family-owned businesses in town

                      or the soft-spoken nurse at the local clinic

                                         silver-haired even from a young age

                                     as she distracts her patients

                                             from their ills and aches

             or the young musician on her guitar

                  (often on the corner of the only intersection

                                  with traffic lights)

                            whose songs relate the twists

                                                             and turns

                                                                those trails take

                                                         among a forest

                                                                    always

                                                              it seems

                                               in the grips

                                                        of autumn

Folks tell of the lights that dance among the shadows

                  on late evenings

             or the songs of miners

                         lost more than a century ago

                    somewhere among the caverns

                             deep into the earth

                          alongside tales of lost treasure

Folks say that sometimes hikers on those trails

         get lost and assisted by helpful specters

                    back to civilization

       while at other times

          they say hikers on those same trails

                 get lost and disappear forever

                        as new lives claimed by the mountains

        all based on the storyteller

                 and her

                        or his

                                mood

A few people from out-of-town have suggested

    the mountain is nothing more than a mountain—

         a buildup of stone claimed by the woods

                                  (basically)

                hazardous to those with wild imaginations

                                              … just a few people

But what they fail to understand is the mountain

       was never only a mountain

               it was a symbol of a region

                                           historical traditions

                                      and communal pride

7 thoughts on “Mountain Tales (A Poem)

  1. The ending was my favorite part. It’s so true how a certain place does not mean much to someone who passes by, but to those that have lived there for much longer – it’s a place filled with history and emotions.

    I quite enjoy folk tales and am saddened that they seem to be fading away from most places.

    Liked by 1 person

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