Alaskan Mountain

Archangels, wearing robes of terrible beauty,
So near the sky they tear off pieces of clouds
and drop the rags among their tree-furred skirts
mighty stone-skinned shoulders bare, except
for the warrior-trophy jewels of snow and ice.

Some places on the earth are human-scaled:
An island smiling like a lusty girl,
an old grandfather oak by a pasture fence,
but here the magnitude defeats the mind
absurdly measuring height or breadth or years.

The eye tries to contain, the hand would reach
and cut a finger on that serrate peak
and bleed onto the distant, pristine snow.
We are less than a breath in the mountain's life,
and the mountain, a breath in the infinite.