Arches

1.

Eye of God splays into

salmon sandstone,

peers out at blue, blue sky,

muscles bunched in elongated

gaze. Sight bears infinity

as upper air does clouds. Wisps

of shadows curve, tumble, splash

into bright pools of light.


Arid architecture admits

no straight lines. Wind molds

swirls of buckled arches,

propping up creative hopes

of lonesome poets. They carve

crude initials into Navajo stone

stationed in dried-out basins,

draw maps of pilgrims’ progress.


2.

I tread the desert floor alone

in scalding heat. Frisky cacti scar

my heels, tufts of sagebrush

billow past my head, bushels

of sand obscure vistas.

Twisted buttes pour out

liquid gases that cover

hoodoos in yellow crowns.


Rapids of Colorado River

roil and spray. Tourists crawl

back to starting lines.

La Sal Mountains rise drowsily

over dramatic sights: Naturalists

scramble for pride of place, await

return of peregrine falcons,

fast against canyon walls.


3.

Rooms of blended rock open

into oven’s wind. Red enchantment

draws me in. Footsteps stop

beside road. Even they have

minds for beauty. Even they

squeeze horizons into wavy shapes.

Horses die from savage thirst. Bones

bleach in sun. Winged scavengers feast.


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