There are tiny flowers, nearly
too small to see, and they grow
from miniature fishers in the wall
of Half Dome. On a blistered
July Tuesday, some twenty
years ago, I hung freely
from a belayed harness, with
a firmly locked carabiner.
I was suspended, in time and location.
It is a place people are not
supposed to be. A place for birds
and thermals that flow like erect
rivers, rushing into the firmament.
I can only say that I was there,
between the immovable rock
and the swallowing sky—
between heaven and earth,
between a thrill and good sense.
In that impossible moment,
it was there, on the wall,
the smallest flower in the world,
planted in a pinch of earth,
living in a tiny fracture
of solid rock—purpleness
in the grey. This is how it is,
in Yosemite. The grandness
for tourists is the vista, and they weep
at the magnificence, in weeping lines,
moving along—tourists replaced
by other tourists.
The prominence of Yosemite,
is only partly understood
in the panorama. It is passed over
by the greedy—“the gorgeous”
is also revealed when looking intimately.
Yosemite drips surprises, gifts
for a lucky few, those who stop being
other tourists—those who drink
grandeur from tiny glasses.