by Leonard M Hawkes

This is Canyon Country,
Though I do not live with them,
Not those of the red stone cliffs,
Those dry magnificent arroyos,
Perhaps essence, and no doubt
Symbol of the vastness
Of the Great-Southwest;
No, they are but cousins.

Grey-blue limestone escarpments,
Pink and purple quartzite,
Even the yellowish ground-down
Sediments of the Wellsvilles,
These are my birthright;
And instead of sandy caramels,
Beiges and creams,
I know the stark white grit
Of volcanic ash.

But, cousins,
For we share the cottonwoods,
Cedars, and sages,
The limber pine, pinion,
And prickly pear--and oaks--
Oaks who for some mysterious reason
Ceased their quiet northward creeping

For the ancient ones too,
They who knew the canyons best,
They too drifted northward:
I have read them in the rocks,
Found glassy fragments
In my own garden,
And known them,
Almost heard them in the open
Temperate aridness and
Silence of The Lake.

Yes, cousins,
For I too have seen,
Traveling Eastward
Through the broken stony
Core of the Wasatch,
That change from European blues and grays
First to mottled pudding stone,
Then deeper, deeper into red--
Navajo red.


Posted on 12/02/2002
Copyright © 2023 Leonard M Hawkes

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Rommel Cruz on 12/02/02 at 04:01 AM

very interesting, especially for someone who just see what you experienced and described in pictures.

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