I hope that the weathered horseman up yonder
Will die before he knows what this eager world
will do to his children.
-Robinson Jeffers (“The Coast-Road”)
I wonder now if Jeffers grins up yonder
with his horseman looking down
at the bluff-chiseled road they cursed
in the building, failing once again,
cut and fill slipping into the Pacific
after fire and 83 inches of rain.
Damage done, where have his children
gone to join the present, to succumb
to the latest newness man has wrought
to sell as necessary convenience?
Moving mudslides have closed the road
to the outside world to heal in private,
to rejuvenate the majestic ruggedness—
the awe and respect for the weather-carved
shaping always the character of man.