Poetry Travel

The Narrows


The Narrows


The Narrows

a slot canyon beyond the Temple of Sinawa

the breath-taking sheer wall rises above

and beyond me.

The California Condor squawks and circles above

the sky cracks open

more every bend I turn

the high-waisted water

the rumble of stone moving

with the current and jostle of the seeker.


The scale of humanity diminishes here

it’s amazing that this Heaven exists

petals fall through the morning light

leaves float down to the Virgin River

canyon base where I wade.


The smooth weeping line of one waterfall thin

falls down a clean wall slanted to the high plateau.


Flash floods of the past

filed high ledges with rocks the size of my head.


Emerald pools gathered in the low hollows

green and sparkling as the sun was about to

perch on the top of the ridge.


The day unshaped by fear or any conscious reason

just the narrow and recently carved walls

that is, only 100 million years ago.


The last turn, the colorful lava rock at my feet

the red stripes, the gold buried beneath small rapids

the orange layers lying on their side face

shuffled by the stream and occasional hiker

into this dimension of Zion.

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