Rock, River, Sand – Feeling the Grand Canyon….

In a second reflection on “where poems come from,” sometimes you find yourself in a place so intense that you must write about it. Problematically, when it’s a place as iconic as the bottom of the Grand Canyon, well, it’s almost impossible to do so in anything close to a fresh way. But you have to try…

This poem and the accompanying image came from a photo trip down the colorado in April of 2014 lead by a terrific Utah photographer, Willie Holdman.

Here’s a link to a gallery of the southwest from Willie’s photo site…

Willie Holdman Photography

And here’s a link to my complete gallery of Grand Canyon Images from that trip…

JFink Images Grand Canyon Gallery

Peace,

Jeff

nankoweap granaries, colorado river

Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, April 2014, at sunset just below the Nankoweap Granaries

 

rock river sand

 

and light, dancing

the eye of the raven, his ragged

 

wing, vishnu’s

impassive face, creator

 

and destroyer.

time made solid, layered

 

rim to river to rim. the ghosts

of the grandfathers

 

watching from the high walls

as we pass, encased

 

in our tiny stories.

the canyon

 

doesn’t care, the river continues

carving — deeper, deeper

 

into the dark heart of the world

 

 

©jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

Red Stone

Note- some poems are prompted by a word or a phrase, perhaps an experience. This was suggested by an impossibly beautiful tree deep at the head of the unfortunately named “Negro Bill Canyon” off of the Colorado Rive near Moab Utah.  

red stone

by the time we reach the top of the canyon

we’ve walked through most of our words

this trail of sand and stone, the solitary blooms

of tattered desert flowers. this deep in the canyon

all light is reflected, shattered light,

passed from rim to rim until it settles like mist

luminous dust, a dry and brilliant rain.

we never know what we’ll find in the deepest canyons

of our lives like these incandescent leaves,

such improbable green, or this stone, the rich red

of freshly oxygenated blood, the red of iron and of time,

of pressure and erosion, the true red of benediction, the hard,

hard red of redemption.

©jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

stones

stones-2

I’m old enough now to see

how I’ve lived my life in dogs,

each a sun-warmed stone

in this stream of loneliness.

by these have I kept my feet dry,

have I so far made it across.

I look into the brown eyes

of my young black dog,

and can’t help but do the math.

My heart breaks in the knowing

of that distant day when he tells me —

it is time. When do we begin

to die? not at birth, surely,

there’s such a rush to life

for so long, but it slows somewhere,

somehow deep inside of itself

it starts to slow, until one day

as we sit together talking,

this slowing shows itself

in our faces, in our eyes, in our first

clear diminishing, and then we know,

yes we know. We’ve had a week now

of cold nights and windy mornings

the clouds dropping down, scraping

the tops of the aspens, stripping them

of leaves. Snow will come soon

to these mountains, but for today,

I still have this chair by the stream,

still the sounds of the stream over stones,

still a black dog warming his bones

in the late day sun. for today,

this is sufficient. for today this

is wealth enough for a life.

 

 

©jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

Moroccan Elements – Part 2

on hearing the voices of children late at night from our riad deep within the Medinah….

 

 

vortex                 last night

last night, just as I closed the door

to consciousness and stepped into

the cool blue anteroom of sleep, I heard

the voices of small children, rising, falling,

echoing through the house, familiar voices

passing just beyond my comprehension.

are these the voices of children

 

 

gone before, or of those still to come –

or are these the sounds of the lost

and harshly punished parts of myself

that are running now, their small

black and white shoes clattering

down the long wooden hallways of time,

rushing to see who’s come to the door,

to see who’s come to reclaim them

after such an unforgivably long time.

 

 

 

©jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

Ripe

nap

every day is ripe

for something for a coming into

in its own way

 

most days I miss

this imposing my own urgency

pushing like one

 

born late

but every now and again causes

and conditions conspire

 

and I still–

against the better judgment

of my petty voices

 

I sit

and watch as the day becomes

the day listen

 

for the wisdom

of the wind in the trees watch

the black

 

dog sleeping

on the porch breathing in

the sun

 

 

© J.A. Fink  2013