Yellow Mountain by John Brantingham

My friends Dan and Charlotte,
who have lead me around Shanghai,
and know that I have dreamed
of the Yellow Mountain my whole life,

offer to take me there, and we’re going to go
until we find out that the train
won’t arrive until three in the afternoon,
and the sun will set at 4:40

and it’s a six mile hike to the hotel
where we don’t have reservations
and the entire mountain has iced over
in the February cold.

So we set our sights on Nanjing instead,
and chances are that I’ll never be here again,
so my dream of the mountain,
of its vertical cliffs and tors

of its little wooden bridges and monkeys
and its sunshine at dawn will stay locked
in my mind as it always has been,
unchanged by reality.

It’s wind will always blow musical,
playing notes
as beautiful
as a John Coltrane song.

John Brantingham

John Brantingham is the writer-in-residence at the dA Center for the Arts and a professor of English at Mt. San Antonio College. His most recent poetry collection is Dual Impressions: Poetic Conversations about Art.


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