Out there walking round, looking out for food,
a rootstock, a birdcall, a seed that you can crack
plucking, digging, snaring, snagging,
barely getting by,
no food out there on dusty slopes of scree—
carry some—look for some,
go for a hungry dream.
Deer bone, Dall sheep,
bones hunger home.
Out there somewhere
a shrine for the old ones,
the dust of the old bones,
old songs and tales.
What we ate—who ate what—
how we all prevailed.
Gary Snyder, “Old Bones” from Mountains and Rivers Without End. Copyright © 2008 by Gary Snyder. Reprinted by permission of Counterpoint Press.
Source: Mountains and Rivers Without End
(Counterpoint Press, 2008)