Anthem for a Vertical Land


Photo by Isak Combrinck on Unsplash

The ground beneath us seems firm enough, which is why I find it amazing that continents can move, crash into each other, and sink out of sight over the course of millions of years.

For example, during the late Cretaceous period, the western part of North America was separated from the east by a body of water named the Western Interior Seaway, or the Niobraran Sea, though no creature alive at the time called it that.

And what we think of as the Rocky Mountains today was a separate continent, which also had no name at the time but is now called “Laramidia” by researchers.

I suppose as climate change continues to melt the polar ice and as sea levels rise, our descendants would be forced to battle each other  to control the highest and driest terrain, and thus could become the new Laramidians.

There would be serious issues to confront.  The rocky height of the place and the absence of fertile ground would make food scarce and gravity a relentless and ever present threat.  What’s worse, facing these challenges would leave the Laramidians with little time to create a fancy sounding anthem for their intensely vertical land.  

How can there be pageantry if such a majestic, poetically named place if there is no national song?  Unthinkable!  

Which is why I had to write the words now.

Laramidia, thy fame
is in thy great mountains high.
In thy treacherous terrain.
In thy vast thin-layered sky.

From thy summits to the sea,
From thy peaks straight to the foam,
Thou art vertical indeed.
Laramidia, my home.

Thou hast not a grain of wheat
Nor a field that’s ripe with corn.
Nothing grows. And as for meat,
Only mountain goats, with horns.

Laramidia, the bright,
Laramidia, the fair.
If thou walks alone at night
Laramidia, take care.

Thou hast gravity in spades.
And it takes a mighty toll.
He who stumbles soon cascades
into to the waves. That’s how we roll!



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