“Mount St. Helens, Did you Tremble?” inspired by poetry

“Mount St. Helens, Did you Tremble?” inspired by poetry

Today is World Poetry Day. One of the quilts in our collection has its own poem.

"'Mount St. Helens, Did you Tremble?' is the fabric scene that is the form of my fancy. It is the image of the words that flew through my mind and became a poem, as I watched the spectacular sunset through the pine trees on the hill near us the night of May 25, 1980, the day of the secondary eruption of Mount St. Helens.” -Joyce Peaden


One vast chalk sky
White powder on my feet
Mount St. Helens, did you tremble?
Will the world turn to sleet?

Are the slivers of your rocks
Spewed on field and hearth
Wind borne, or trailing sky sphere
On the turning of the earth?

What tortured, gnarled, writhing
In your depths, or in the sea of molten lava of the deep confused the errant atoms, vapors, gases?
Mount St. Helens, will you sleep?

Would you, if you were alive,
Accept your holocaust?
Would you, Could you think, redeem your people?
Bones, brains, and blood are lost.

Silica angels flying skyward,
Children. Tenants among the trees,
men of cameras, pens, tools, and meters measuring White, like Lot’s wife, in the salten seas.

One vast chalk sky
White powder on my feet
Mount St. Helens, did you tremble?
Will the world turn to sleet?


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