Poem: Sedona

That indifference still surprises—
that the sheer scrub-haunted cliffs
pile slab on ferrous slab, dinosauric
in ancient sun, hot before there was August.
Before there was.
                              That cactus grips
the yellowed hillsides, profuse as locusts.
That anything mindless could still need teeth.

That the cold water stings like advice.
You dip your feet again in the same stream.
The pain is still there for the asking,
same as rocks jeweling the streambed.

Nothing visible moves
down the mountain, even the cooling sun now
diffuses gray light through a whale-bellied cloud.
You descend the root-crossed path
slowly, as slowly as rocks
would slide, if shaken loose.

That the cactus, even dead, raises
its arms to the sky:
neither grotesque nor wise.

Where you have no reason to be,
you lay your blanket over stones.
The pine does not descend to the desert,
nor the lizard seek the snow.
You make your camp on the mountain.

That the stars are old grandmothers
who have forgotten their names.
Beneath the mountain’s dark apron
the flat town glitters and blinks,
a hive of intentions.
                                 And you, suspended
clean as wind, between craving and unminding,
drunk on the thin air of angels,
remember which world is yours
and rise, taking not a morsel
of memento rock, lest you hope to change the mountain
by burdening yourself with one more stone. 

                  Note: Sedona is a mountain range in Arizona.

This poem won a 3rd Prize in the 2005 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Awards and was published on their website.

2 comments on “Poem: Sedona

  1. by some means I missed the previous artcle. what is the address to the blog archives?

  2. Brandi says:

    HHIS I should have tuhoght of that!

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