by Doug Bolling

You have come back for the mountains.
The one in particular, the one they call
Blue Fire for no reason you’ve ever
sorted out.

The one that lifts above the others
and comes and goes like the clouds
of autumn thickening then passing
onward into some imagined distance.

You ask: how is it a whole mass
of stone and earth can vanish so
easily so often.
Asking this of nobody around,
just perhaps to your inner self,
invisible presence always hovering
near, sometimes ahead sometimes

This mountain a mystery and you
love mysteries, all riddles unsolved,
trips to places never seen,
all that.

You remember that philosophy course
in college. Bishop Berkeley from the
far removed 18th century.
He who argued, pretty much convinced you,
that things only exist when perceived,
material objects only a permission of sight.

Yet now you stare and stare and get only
a no show. You begin to worry.
You begin to suspect your own eyes,
beady little portals with a habit of going
their own way, carrying you along
like a nuisance to be endured
rarely adored.

You begin to wonder about your
own material state, whether it’s
really there or only a phantom
in search of a viewer.

Doug Bolling’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary reviews including Water-Stone Review, Wallace Stevens Journal, Basalt, Poem, Blue Unicorn, The Inflectionist Review, Redactions, BlazeVOX, Chaffin Journal and Gravel Magazine, among others. He has received five Pushcart nominations and has degrees from William & Mary and the University of Iowa. He has taught in colleges and universities in the midwest and currently lives in the greater Chicago area. He is a native of Kentucky and has published short fiction and poetry set in the mountains of Appalachia.