Paternal Mountain


I grew up with you always at a distance,
Volcanic peak, your top blown long ago,
I had to shout quite loud with great insistence,
And often your reply was just an echo.
I loved your form, your distant blue veneer,
Your name, Crusader, mythical to me,
I built my dreams inside your castled walls,
So safe your upright structure seemed to be.

Now I live much closer to your height,
I can almost touch you in the still of dawn,
The blue has turned to grey and green and white,
And letters cast in bronze upon a lawn.

© MZ Brown

Author Notes

Their similarities were such, that I stood my father against Mount Crusader – one of the peaks in the western ranges of the Tasman district.

My father – volcanic temperament, a Returned Serviceman, deafened by the war, but always kind and generous and there for me.


I am almost speechless …

the way you wrote so lovingly about this mountain and at the same time your father touched my heart profoundly … the mountainlike qualities of your caretaker inspire awe and respect – and a lot of love …

my husband  just stepped in and I invited him to read your verse … translated it into french in order to allow it to penetrate his soul even deeper … his gaze turned all tender and he whispered in resonance to the grace just received: “this is truly a message of love” …

I can only join him in his echo to your soulful expression in rhyme and meter …

the last line almost moved me to tears …

thank you so much for sharing your amazing gift  …

Marion Mantel