Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Beneath the Red

Wednesday June 19 2013

It is a place I have never seen - and yet I know it.

When I first find the path I want to run, to bolt into this canyon, to tear deep inside the labyrinth and lose myself to this world.

I follow the tracks of those that have gone before me, alongside this stream beneath the monstrous sheer red walls. My footsteps and breath fall into a familiar rhythm.

The footsteps of the ancients lead over rose slickrock polished smooth as marble, over red sandstone turned to salmon powder.

I am jealous of the oak trees that guard this formidable canyon, jealous of the canyon wren who hurls her cascading trill against the red cliffs, jealous of the bluebird who flaunts his startling iridescent azure against the red rocks. I am jealous of the wispy junipers who cling by a root to a high red shelf on the walls.

I envy the ghost of an ancient hand that still catches water from this cool clear spring water;

I envy the fish who languishes in the shaded pools. I envy the Raven who flies over these walls I cannot climb. I envy the rainstorm that cascades in sheets, ripping colored parallel paths down the red-hued stone tinted by different ores.

The canyons split and twist but without hesitation, my feet remember where to go. It is the end of this box canyon that I find the treasure in the depth of this red chasm: a secret arch safeguarding where this stream is born from a slice in the rock.

It must be sacred, this place. I lay my head on the sandstone beneath the red walls, beneath this arch, beside the genesis of this spring, where others have laid before me. My hand falls in the water.

The life-water caresses my fingers, and I feel the ancient birth and erosion, death and growth of this red canyon: the present birth and erosion, the death and growth of me.


  1. You really should be published in National Geographic! You are so talent (photo and writing)! Amazing stuff here, Merri!

  2. Dreamy and real all at the same time... great reading

  3. THIS is beautifully written! I want to thank you for sharing your photos for poetry. Two exceptional poems I loved were:

    I don't remember if I sent you the link to the challenge I did:

    I have two others that I am working on, much more traditional, but am letting them simmer and I will let you know when (and if) I post them.

    Again, Your words above are stunning. Would you mind if I reworked them in a poem format (I won't change any of the words) and post it on my poetry blog with a few of these photos? I will link back to you here. I just REALLY think it is gorgeous! Let me know :)

  4. Thanks everybody - it was a very mystical magical place!

  5. You did it justice. I too found such a spot, many years ago when I was still in my teens in CO. I've often wondered if I could ever find it again...