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THE ARMENIAN SPEAKS OF MOUNTAINS By Ara Arzumanian I've known mountains I set my sheep to graze on a hillside and climbed myself high to see what there was. I've once decided and told my whole family that I should climb as high as one man could to the peak of Sis and came back home not having reached the summit. I've built my home near a field below a slope afoot the breast of a mountain range called Ara. I've climbed a mountain behind a park near where I lived and played around a tree the people called `Devil's Fork' because I had named it so I've stood on a board and skitted down snow and fallen on my knees and have been cold. I've sat with my uncle's son with a dhol and he and his shvi atop a great green slope of God-like stone and sung every drop of my soul to our village and any village that would hear me. I've sat at home as a child and have heard my uncle Ohan as he bellowed from a mountain top that was three days horse ride south of our village that the Turks were defeated at Getashen. I've danced in a circle with seven men around a fire on a clearing - a nearly level place - halfway down the face of an ancestor, as our guns cooled in the moonlight. From a Yerevan rooftop, I've watched the lights of Turkish gun towers flicker on the arms of Masis. I've fought with and killed my own cousin because he lived on the other side of our mountain range. I've lived under a mountain. I was born on a mountain. I've known what it is to look in four direction and see no mountains. I've been sad. I never want to be where there are no mountains. I never want to be where there are no mountains. -- Ara Arzumanian was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up Glendale, California. He has a B.A. in English from the University of California in Irvine. He was a founding member and Editor-in-Chief of Usanogh Periodical of Armenian Students until 2001. He works with at-risk youth in the city of Glendale and writes poems and short stories in English.