Essential Place

I began life in the west
of deserts and mountains,
was frightened by papooses
popping out of bags
on their mothers backs, I was two.
I rode horses and cows
on farms between mountains
knew the dry heat.

Chaco is a vortex, Gaia’s child
as Jericho is, ancient,
the central core of the Peoples
who left when their water failed.
Moist now, this essential place
drew into all the valleys and mountains
of the western plateau
impoverished, listless  pioneers,
to claim their land of dreams, this
Center of the west born of volcanic fire.

Bursting out, this land rose from the sea,
merged with the granite of the east
water carved, colored canyons,
sandstone arabesques, left
blooming mountain islands
in seas of  sand and sage.

Chaco’s dry monuments
pueblos, and Kivas are quiet,
within the nest of four holy mountains,
there for those who hold Earth sacred,
while the White Men suck ancient waters
lacerate the plains with a million needles
pumping every inch of legacy,
for today’s feast,

Wheels crush the sage
release the earth’s dry dust
dark cyclonic clouds rise
from the ancient center.

This fantasy land filled,
overflows with the white men,
retirees seeking sun,
miners stripping buttes,
farmers sucking water,
gamblers in slick cities,
and pious Latter-Day- Saints,
the air  fouled by burning oils,
by nuclear explosions,
by asphalt highway traffic,
air conditioners fighting  heat,
as it gets hotter and dryer
and mountain tops burn.

Beware of a  vacuum
that sucks you in,
with it’s bountiful promise.

A new cycle is beginning..
You can overuse the land
but, overwrought it will die,
and so will you and your progeny,
The Navaho know  this.

Kent Bowker   15 Oct. 2012

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