ebbortz

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

earth note 344

mount 'elden', flagstaff, 1980

the boys were ready
to take on the world
so we settled
for climbing a mountain

each step
up the trail
volcanic rock
crunched & released
a faint presence of sulfur
& as we left the trail
digging into the steeper parts
a calmness opened
as we gazed the valley
the manic highway
in the distance
the snow capped peaks
     the original holy sites
     of the original people
     hopi
     navajo
     zuni
     apache
     acoma
     havasupai
     hualapai
     yavapai
     & so many
     more

aspen hugged the range
in the distance
leaves waiting to turn yellow
while the pine
on our shoulders
& in our shaky grip
were still black
in their recovery
     fire a few years earlier
     had marked the land
     indelibly

where the footpath ended
& the outcrops protruded
our steps became
most deliberate
     entering
     the purity
     of ancient water vessels
     shaped & painted by many hands
     broken by upheaval
     & time

we still search
for your pure waters
     now

--- e b bortz

(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)
 
 

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