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  • Paperback: 106 pp
  • ISBN:  9780989510448
  • e-book available on Kindle, Nook, iPad, and Google Play
  • ISBN:  9780989510486
  • Read excerpts

Mountain Breathing

Collected Poems Volume 2

  • by Richard Gartee

Mountain Breathing is a collection of 66 poems spanning four decades that form a study in the evolution of a poet philosopher with feet made of sand, whose soul may sing OM, but whose eyes notice blond hairs on the back of tan thighs at the beach. Along the way are observations of how we think, feel, and interact with the people who appear in our lives, and with the universe unseen.

Ranging from a mystical experience in a mountain top meadow, to a story of lovers in a French hotel, to pithy observations of mind, ego, heart, and aging, the subjects are diverse. So too, are the variety of styles, rhythms, and voices of individual poems in this collection. Yet the poet’s ontology and struggle to achieve some measure of realization comes through with equal clarity in witty four-line poems or rhythm laden, multi-page, narrative pieces.

Excerpts from Mountain Breathing

Mountain Breathing


We follow a guide

along her exact path

step into each space

she has just left;

one foot to the other.

the song of each nostril

pulses with rarified air.

we reach at last, a mountain-top meadow.


Feet breathe rocks

of the path.

we follow light

scattered through our breasts

from an afternoon sun;

taste the chilled ozone

as we near the summit.


Moist field seems a

yellow-delicate green altar

honoring the process of

balance and the process of

law governing the turn

of an atom

or the evening of a planet.


Inhaling great waves of light

the Earth breathes twice

each year.

We have walked up to see the exhalation


Hearing the transition

take place, in

no more than a breath of seasons.


Eyes close,

waiting in stillness.

We transcend even our own noisy


for this second,


as the current of life to death changes.

We stay

watching the hesitation

of breath thought

on a September mountain

when the aspens are gold

and yellow Summer tips

the scale to Fall

Sun hides golden rays

behind taller trees

Sapphire sky turns surprisingly cold


Tentative, wary, observers reluctantly rise

to descend

weightless from balance

No one shall

be on this altar mountain to see in

the breathless death,

of Winter.


Last Lovers In Burgundy Province

The village,

pastel from sunlight diffused

by a sheer veil

of cloud,


black stalks, barren, tall;

gentled, lent charisma,

by the contrast with

brown-russet bricks;

naked limbs over-watch aged

buildings four stories high.

White cloud light

brilliant on the windowpanes

glints from upper-story apartments

like afternoon shimmering off

an old man’s spectacles.

Hot breath in a room,

second row from the top,

frosts windows.

While city eyes turn down

into their cups

last of all, two young lovers


The damp chill of autumn

has bitten deep the others,

it holds them apart.

Alone they scurry

over winter fit streets

or crawl,

asleep, into their minds.

At sunrise the discards

of wine lie in spills on

the cafe floor

while three stories above

a last candle burns low;

in purple village shade

nothing seems left

but shadows of morning,

and lavender streets cooled too soon.


Buy Mountain Breathing

front cover of book

Paperback ISBN: 9780989510448

e-book ISBN:  9780989510486

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Paperback     Kindle

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Paperback     Kindle