The Narrows

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remember the day we discovered the narrows
the passage forward blocked
back of the pack reserved for the meek
watershed moments appear this way
yielding to conscience and life
go on call it destiny
flood our germ o’er all the land
the narrows disappear in the past
new mornings lose their dawn
the moon is a phase to ignore
the drone grows louder and smells
freedom of religion means snakes
owners own the plantation
their serfs ticky tack homes
give them traffic lights all is forgiven
racing to work for the bank.

prosperity’s a cloud in the air
and something else too
before we discovered the narrows
the market’s invisible hand
was it profit or the buffalo said
in time progress will be expelled
ego in tow back through the narrows it goes
no longer a place to return is remembered
stuck like an overwhelmed habit
egress back to the start single file
says who? judgement and laws made of the past
betraying respect
betokened by birth
its talis Mammon impeached
with bright shiny objects
bewitched with the shine of a silver spoon’s dole.

we are all Cain and we are all Abel
free to choose who we are
to wake each day for gold
to covet illusions and love for alchemy
while the morning waits to ask of need
we sleep intoxicated by the night
its darkness hides the blemish of the question
written large in the book of your accounts
take what’s yours handed down from below
choose first place in the narrows
emptied pockets and callouses
heal soon enough
after we’ve taken our leave
left servants rot in the waste of neglect
life in the Garden was perfect
the day before we discovered the narrows
before Cain murdered Abel
when buffalo played in the surf.

Chastened the past reflects on our future
Boulders roar down slopes mending scars
Millennia cover mines distilling poisons
Rubble is time overboard the cliffs’ sharp pitch
Painting the desert enchanting the land
Trusting its thirst will be vanquished
Mother herself her healing waters her sweet decay
We come to the earth as a feast first the eyes
Life’s flash consumes pain we drink
Its sugars nourish the vine
High at the top of the world waits our peak
Sparkling schist mirrors constellations
Silent quiet neither sound nor tears
Raining gently thunder salutes talus and scree
Perfect harmonies soothe the wind
No word has evil nor shrieks the lion lies with the lamb
Dragonflies at sunrise flower wild goodbyes
Our echoes fade, our lies go dark, our light surrenders to the stars.

Roaring Springs, North Rim

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