Aside from influencing my love of poetry, my Granddad Wood was a major influence on my character development. I am who I am in large part to his example and values. In the late 1940’s he moved his family from southern Idaho to Stevens County in Washington State where he bought the largest pile of rocks that he could find for sale. His farm was on the east side of the Columbia River with a large mountain of exposed rock cliffs as a backdrop. To this day I cannot see that mountain without feeling somehow strengthened. The following was written as a tribute to my grandfather.
Tribute to the Mountain
When sore depressed and all alone,
I seek the mountain’s anchored stone;
Where battered, bruised, conflicted, weak,
I find the refuge which I seek.
Amidst the cliffs of sharp-edged truth,
The cradle; safety of my youth,
Beside that shadow blanket’s dome,
The only house I knew as home.
Though it may fall to termite, fire,
It’s granite standards did inspire
A choice which memories refresh,
As worms consume that anchor flesh,
Which molders now in grave alone,
Yet marked me more than mountain stone.
©2000 William L. Steen