“Poetic Twists & Turns”

Poems twist & turn like rivers

flow smooth then forcibly

overflowing its banks

determined strong

even when still

_____________________________________

Wish you were here

watch sunrise onto the south rim

woke early first ones on the trail

hard to see the river

yet knowing it is there

with its twists & turns

through the canyon

_____________________________________

Alpenglow on stone walls

make new colors

shadows roll up the cliff face

brings out the song

of canyon wren

each note a twist then a turn

_____________________________________

Cut to the core of it

down to the base — the heart of it

was the water forming

then released never knowing

it would someday be a trickle

_____________________________________

We leaned towards home

like rivers —

where to bend

where to spill over

where to stop & pool

how to reflect

_____________________________________

Looking up towards the south rim

we could see people

were they looking down at us

so very small

in this vast canyon

riding the twists & turns

of the river

_____________________________________

Not all rivers run fast like this one

here in the canyon

you can tip go under

swim for your life

some rivers run slow—

take on the sun—

good to swim

_____________________________________

Row and row and row your boat

gently—

gently I say

down—

down the stream

merrily—

merrily—

what is life but a dream—

dream of a river

rowed midstream

gently—

gently—

life is a dream

_____________________________________

Sometimes we must portage

— take higher ground

— study terrain

while others go fast

straight over the waterfall

into the still blue waters below

_____________________________________

Sometimes

the waterfall is fatal

rips off the life jacket

takes me under

sometimes

the waterfall is thunderous

can’t hear myself think

sometimes

the waterfall is so moving

we stand for hours

to contemplate

to explanate

_____________________________________

Path of the river not straight

full of twists & turns

erosion and change

and it goes on catching light

as it goes

carves a new shore

creates sand and gorge

_____________________________________

We wanted to know more

about a name

how to the water it went

creeking

shaped its course

carried debris and treasures

fed ferns

listened for the return

even when dry & barren

_____________________________________

Who remembers

what we ate for dinner

in Poncho’s Kitchen?

tucked under a rock ledge

in the Grand Canyon—

fed by the crew who cooked

and carried our shit

back to the raft—

on we floated

knowing the biggest rapid

was in going forward

_____________________________________

Looking up

we could see the rim

both north and south

where the Navajo Bridge

connected sides in Marble Canyon

further along

the footbridge

where hikers can cross

from one side to another

Colorado River flowing below

_____________________________________

I want to write about

the weather—

how the rain came

and put the fire out

just when we thought it was hopeless

I want to write about the river—

how it moved volumes of water

beneath us

and carried us along

with its blessing

_____________________________________

I want to write about how the sun

comes up

lapping waters with its rays—

I want to write about

how in the predawn there is a mist

that clings

nothing can be seen on the shore

only the light that begins

to settle on that mist

_____________________________________

As a little girl I walked in the creek

to search for agate & salamanders

built curbside dams

when the rain came

mixed flower soup

my father never taught me to shoot

I feared his gun—

prayed he would never

turn it on me

like the defenseless jackrabbit

he killed one day for sport

_____________________________________

There is only so much to be said

about rivers and poetry

yet we keep writing

watch the words stumble

onto paper— ink flowing

some kind of meaning

comes out into the open

_____________________________________

“The moon shimmers in green water. White herons fly through the moonlight.” Li Po

There is always something more

to say about rivers—

how we step into its waters

sure of foot

fish flee then nibble at the feet

_____________________________________

“Light of unspeakable richness…”

John Muir

There is light in the NW

speakable gloom

someday I will endure it

I will winter over and count

the continual days of rain

_____________________________________

“To lovers of the wild, these mountains……” John Muir

Yes, England has mountains

you say & a legacy of poetry—

words that still toll through time

— more renowned for its poets

than its mountains

_____________________________________

There is sorrow for a state

that doesn’t have a mountain

oh Nebraska you flatland

we drove you all day

in a rain storm

you are plowed straight

yield much

feed many

but where are your mountains?

_____________________________________

We hiked Saddleback

Little Colorado in the Grand Canyon

dry even with water

Palo Duro Canyon trails

great day hikes out of campground

love the trails of Zion

so many slot canyons

yet to explore

_____________________________________

“Every trace of dimness had been washed from the sky; the mountains were dusted and wiped clean with clouds…..” John Muir

Oh Texas

you have your mountains

Palo Duro Canyon

second to this Grand Canyon

we hiked for days there

the wind stampeded over my tent

Mt Davis campground

where the acorn woodpecker

fed its babies

retreat to Indian Lodge

_____________________________________

Oh New York

you have your mountains

snow covered in winter

a black diamond marks your slopes

sound of snow on ski—

speed and skill

but no time to stop

on black diamond trail

_____________________________________

“Light of unspeakable richness….”

John Muir

I am trying to understand

how light falls on Alaska

how hours are gained in light

how hours are gained in darkness

and that one point where

there is always LIGHT

_____________________________________

Last April I climbed the staircase

of the Desert Watch Tower—

the way was narrow

I had to hold on

I made it to the top

with other tourists

I snapped some pics—

miles of canyon could be seen

and a storm coming in

_____________________________________

Today the sun shines—

castes shadows that fall

towards winter

tomatoes hurry to ripen

leaves brown

I pick cucumbers & peppers &

squash & eggplant to stir fry

______________________________

Each stanza was written on a postcard for August Postcard Poetry Festival – the postcard was an artist’s rendition of the Grand Canyon painted from the south rim called “Poetic Twists & Turns”. The artist is Serena Supplee.

Advertisements
“Poetic Twists & Turns”

Travelling to North Rim

5FFB8DD5-E130-4FB5-95FA-1D008B563D9E

Travelling with the storm perched over the canyon we head to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon both going there the storm moving faster along the rim while we drive over the plateau happy to be dry in these moments arriving at the campground everything is wet but the storm has passed the sky clears revealing the colors of layers of chiseled rock lit by the setting sun

Two years later I travel that same road there is no storm but snow is on the ground where the Cat Fire burned last summer we watched it burning from deep in the canyon hotshot fire fighters called in helicopters fly in and out delivering their load plumes of smoke rise over the Kaibab Forest we float safe on the water of the Colorado River and smell the air from 8,200 feet above now the snow covered ground hides the char of the Cat Fire black surrounds the base of these ponderosa pines others are burned completely pinyon junipers pine needles scrub brush 4500 acres burnt from a lightning strike

Travelling to North Rim

Free Flow

From where I am a river is flowing below Lake Powell dammed up by Glen Canyon Dam

Here the river now runs freely the entrance to Marble Canyon thick walls of Kaibab Formation chiseled by wind water and time

Sound of

white cap cascades

river rock boulders make

rapids and new path

need to scout

best way

to go

Find

a course

rough cut edge

on the left

go right

pitch

Turn

currents

strong pull

away from hole

too deep

avoid

Make it this time into calmer waters free floating gentle moving giant the Colorado River

————————-

dVerse prompt on cascade – camping above Paria Riffle Grand Canyon NP

Free Flow

More Than

Less than a week of being off the water of the mighty Colorado River, my body is still rocking. Some call it disembarkment syndrome when your mind is sensing movement that is no longer there.

My mind returns to the shore of the Grand Canyon, Poncho’s Kitchen, thick sand, rock ledges where the silent scorpion was ready to pounce on a moth that night. How it glowed white under Danny’s UV light and we watched it move in its own darkness.

what we cannot see
hidden in summer shadow
more than time and space

____________________

dVerse prompt on sounds of summer – most scorpions make no sound – saw my first one while camping on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

More Than

Canyon Blues

fix my knee
count to three

stiff neck
what a wreck

climbing high
to the sky

Grand Canyon
find companion

feeling ill
take a pill

lay in chair
get some air

a new feelin’
done with reelin’

eat a cracker
I’m no slacker

find a look out
got no doubt

I can do it
nothing to it

comin’ round
don’t look down

feelin’ better
take off my sweater

no more chills
just Canyon thrills

on to Zion
more heights tryin’

Canyon Blues