And when, in that day,
A stone fell,
That had been resting for years,
Joined with green earth,
Joined with white earth, having snow,
For years and years and years,
For days and days and days;
When, in that day,
This, this stone fell,
Birds flew to the clouded, dark a little sky,
In fright, birds flew.
For they, these birds, in all their days of living, flying, fearing,
Eating, being, mating, had never seen that big stone fall.
Therefore, these birds, when after centuries of quiet on green earth, and brown. earth, and black earth, and white earth, O, with snow on earth, this, this stone fell, and shook a quiet valley hundreds of years old, hundreds of years quiet, in its valley, valley, valley way,
These birds flew in fright.
The world for them was other,
The valley for them was other,
This high, wild, rocky place for them was other.
Their birds' world was shaken,
The valley was shaken,
The valley was other,
The birds were other,
Birds after many, many years.
The birds flew in fright,
When this old, old, quiet, quiet, big, big stone fell,
And shook the world, shook the valley, and frightened birds in the world, now flying, flying to the quiet, quiet, old, old sky, birds, birds, reasonably frightened, flying frightened to the old, old, quiet sky, away from falling, big, old stones that shake old valleys and worlds by falling after many, many, many days and years.
From Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana: Poems (Definition Press)
© 1957 by Eli Siegel