Behold the cloud-graced monoliths
That stretch against the sky
Into the boundless sanctity
Where wind swift eagles fly.

Primal valleys bloom to life
As tumbling waters sing,
Resurrected from the heights
Where ancient glaciers cling.

Time is without measure
In a world no one can claim;
Blessèd be the wilderness –
For freedom is its name.

Will we ever understand,
These are places where
Mortal hands cannot improve
The beauty God put there.


C. David Hay is a retired dentist living in Indiana and Florida. He received his BS  and Doctor of Dental surgery Degrees from Indiana University. He is the author of five books of poetry which are dedicated to his wife, Joy. He has been widely published nationally and abroad and his poetry has been read on the British Broadcasting Channel. He was the first American published in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta in Russia. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry and is the recipient of the Ordo Honoris  Award from Kappa Delta Rho.

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10 Responses

  1. David Hollywood

    A beautiful description of where in Switzerland I am fortunate to live at various times during the year. Your poem shall now become a reference for describing to others the magnificence of its grandeur. Wonderful and thank you.

  2. Joseph S.Salemi

    In the first quatrain, the words “wind swift” are essentially a compound adjective, and should be written with a hyphen (“wind-swift”). Without it, the grammar of the line is unintelligible.

    In the third quatrain, the first line is completely out of meter. The rest of the poem has the quatrain-starting lines in this basic meter:

    x / x / x / x /
    (Behold the cloud-graced monoliths)

    There’s no way you can fit “Time is without measure” into that scheme.

    I think if some people here really want to be classical or formalist poets, they are going to have to pay less attention to their emotional orgasms and more attention to metrical patterns.

    • Joe Tessitore

      If your sexual allusion is in response to my above comment then I would ask:
      What does my response
      to reading a poem have
      to do with my ability to
      write one?

      • Joe Tessitore

        And if this page is reserved for the Apostrophe Police, then I apologize for having been unaware of that fact.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        I was making no reference to you at all. My comment was about writers of poetry who think that an intense emotional feeling is all one really needs, and that the mechanics of the poem are secondary.

        The word “orgasm” was used metaphorically, not literally.

  3. James A. Tweedie

    Sometimes what I hear when I compose a poem is not the same as what others hear in it! I have been caught many times with a metrical slip that completely eluded me. When it was pointed out by someone else, it pleased me because I could then make the poem even more effective. This site is one of the best places to find good proof readers who are willing (sometimes gently and sometimes not) to point our where improvements can be made.

    Let me add two more suggestions. To keep the metrical flow consistent, the word “In” that begins line 10 should be moved to the end of line 9. Also, line 14 is missing a iambic syllable at the beginning. This can be solved by simply adding the word “That.”

    In any case, I found your poem successful insofar as it captured my own experience of vast, alpine wilderness spaces. As I read your words I could feel the cool, crisp mountain breeze on my cheek and hear the whispered echo of zephyrs astir amongst the rocks, lakes, trees, and mountains surrounding me in my imagination. Well done.

    • Joe Tessitore

      Dr. Salemi,

      Forgive me then for “connecting the dots”.

      I concluded that my “Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!” gave rise to your…time for me to stop.

      Very best,



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