Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 23 . . .

Grand Canyon

     poem & photo by Luke Evans

Sandstone in the west is hard enough

to build with. That was the first thing

I learned, followed by the fact that

fire was burning out the only point

where the Colorado could be seen

from the north rim, and they allowed

it to burn. That was news to me, that

wildfires could be a good thing, could

clear away the brush and deadwood.

I should have known, how my fires

could clear me out. Again

the music would play, something

by Radiohead, or a lonely piano,

and the canyon would open up

on either side, extend for miles.

I could examine the strata in the opposite

wall, look for consistencies, recognize

the various rocks and how they got there,

because that was the third thing I learned.

Later I found that a child fell from the very

place I hurried past, the neck of the pathway

too thin, the handrails too flimsy.

That should have been me, lit up

like a torch, sparking into the night and riding

the long way down to the canyon floor,

a burning stump of deadwood or a shooting star.


Luke Evans has written many poems and stories, some of which can be found at The View From Here, joyful!, TQR, and Touch: The Journal of Healing. He lives in Maryland and not somewhere out west, where he left a part of himself in return for more poetry.


© 2011 Luke Evans