Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Roan Horses in Soft Rocks

There are places
I pass by
on long hauls

where I never stop
but still feel a kinship
almost, a familiarity,

and for which I invent
my own names
such as "Soft Rocks"

for a spot in the bend
of Highway 6 descending
from Soldier Summit

where the rubble
of boulders encroaches
from the shoulder

onto the pavement
and the cliffs are full
of sagging cave mouths

the canyon toothy
with tottering piles
of eroding columns

the whole landscape
melting in transformation,
sweet naked geology, soft

half-compacted soil
raised into short-lived
mountains of crumbling

curves, and sometimes
a little magic to be glimpsed
up the narrow defile

in passing, streamers
of flood waterfalls, festoons
of carnivalesque winter ice

or, as today,
two exquisite roan
horses, wandering

free of reins or saddles
or any visible humans,
under one golden eagle,

and then I'm
past and I'm
gone and they're

gone and
the rocks
melt on.

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