(To the melody of Spanish Folk Song- from my guitar debut days)
High in the Strawberry Drainage, it flows,
Telling us of all those December snows-
How it caresses the dunes, as they yield to its tunes,
Translating Man’s story of Life, as it goes.
South goes the East Fork, as it wends on its way,
Bits of life, songs of strife, how it cuts like a knife
Through the fossilized beds- which once showed winds’ bouquet.
Sheer are the cliffs of that part of the rhyme,
Which displays ancient hills from a desert-like clime;
How they came from the north, o’er a sinking air hearth*,
To be saved through the Era of geologic time.
Into Man’s realm it emerges- that Lion-
Fresh from its arduous travels through
Artificiality, Domesticity, not a shred of consistency,
It exposes them now as it yields man a try-on.
Its Spirit untamed, it nears the Great Scarp,
Toting the baggage of flood, mud, and warp-
Tackling the cracks of limestone it soon hacks,
To finds the Earth’s strains, which it plucks like a harp.
Jeering, yes sneering, it ignores the small towns
It encounters enroute, as it makes its new rounds;
It can easily engage them, multi-year can enrage them,
When El Nino rampages, its force knows no bounds.
Then through the gorge it makes its swift way,
Carrying the scarps and plateaus in its sway;
Bit by bit, it erodes them, not a whit it abodes them,
Down to the
The debris of the whole West, it soon adds to its bag,
Debasing the continent from basin to crag;
In a single-year quirk, it offsets million-year work
Of the Earth which has, with Life, had a billion-year lag.
Will Man, at the Peak, subvert Universal Will?
Or can he subside before witnessing the Nill
Of the symbolic Wisdom, the harmonious Rhythm
Of the concord of Earth-Life that humans can still.
Harold L. Overton
*At 20-30 degrees N/S Latitude, air sinks, heating & drying toward the Landscape (hearth)