Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Return to Dixie and its weather and Geopoetry

Grass Valley Flow Created a hogback, similarly to One in Laverkin by Ash Creek

Hurricane Fault Activity continued- Uplift of Colorado Plateau to the east, or Downdrop of the Basin and Range to the west?
(Fredonia GPS Station measures nearly 1 mm/year Rising, while Basins to the west are sinking between N-S ranges- Death Valley has some below Sea Level flats)

The omnipresent Raven Sees and witnesses ALL (but rarely reveals anything WORTHWHILE!)

THE RAVEN (Edgar A. Poe, and Tamarisk Tree in Death Valley)

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“Tis some visitor” I muttered, “rapping at my chamber door-
Only this and nothing more”
Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I had sought the morrow, vainly I had hoped to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here forevermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each velvet curtain
Thrilled me, filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“Tis some visitor entreating, entreating entrance to my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
This it is and nothing more”.
Presently my soul grew stronger: hesitating then no longer,
“Sir” said I “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and you so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping on my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you” Here I opened wide the door-
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken, was the whispered word “Lenore!”
This I whispered and an echo murmured back the word “Lenore!”
Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely” said I “surely that is something at my window lattice,
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore-
Tis the wind and nothing more.”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he, not a moment stopped or stayed he,
But with mien of lord or lady perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door-
Perched and sat, and nothing more.
Then, this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou” said I “are sure no craven,
Ghastly, grim, and ancient Raven, wandering from the nightly shore;
Tell me what thy lordly name is, on the night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore”

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing, that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing birded bust above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust, just above his chamber door-
With such name as “Nevermore”
But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered, not a feather then he fluttered;
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown before;
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before”
Then the bird said, “Nevermore”

Startled by the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless” said I “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster, till his songs one burden bore,
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of “Never-nevermore”.
Since the Raven still beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore,
What this grim ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird just lastly swore
In croaking “Nevermore”

Thus I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl, whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom core,
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease inclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloated o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then methought, the air grew denser perfumed from an unknown senser
Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
Wretch”, I cried “Thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite- respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore”.

“Prophet!” said I, “Thing of evil! Prophet still if bird or devil!
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet still undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
On this home by Horror haunted- tell me truly I implore:
Is there- is there balm in Gilead? - tell me- tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
Prophet!” said I, “Thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or devil!”
By that Heaven that bends above us, by that God we both adore,
Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore:
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked upstarting;
Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul has spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! Quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore!”
And the Raven never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- Nevermore.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49)

See Mary Tussel in a Blog posted earlier, for an indication that The Lost Lenore is "Lost, once more".

Beginning a new hiking season, we are once more stimulated by a view of the Colorado Plateau. An introduction to the CP is gained by riding the rivers- such as the San Juan, Green and the Colorado- to visualize large swatches of Utah and Arizona. Here are some writings, made while camping on the banks, during week-long forays:

The Green (Visibly noted as the Brown)

There was an old man from AZ,
Who thought he would just take a spree;
So he cleaned out his flat,
And lost all his fat- just to make ready, you see.

With copious enthusiasm he planned;
All superfluous motions he banned-
He filled out his beard,
E'en his toenails he sheared (all for a spree on the sand).

'Twould be in the year ninety-seven,
That the fling would be made to his heaven;
He would drive to the Green
And hope to be seen, with a crew of 3 plus eleven.

He would throw all his cares to the winds,
Would abandon all his graces for sins;
He would have a great time-
Even fashion a rhyme, and much later do all his amends.

The first evil omen he found
Was that raindrops were coating the ground,
And the crystal clear stream-
Being the heart of his dream- had turned up a chocolate brown.

The mosquitoes which relished the mud
Persisted e'en during a flood
They gnawed on his vitals,
Even relinquished all titles, so they could draft on his commoner's blood.

The sand which was central to Grace,
Was nowhere to be found in that place;
But not to be daunted
All the elements he taunted- his ashes now reside in a vase.

The boat promptly sub-marined down
Causing all the mosquitoes to drown;
But it took our ol' man
With his expression dead-pan, to Davy Jones' locker in Brown.

It was never quite clear, how his spirit so dear
Remained ever so strong in that realm;
But a smile on his face, remained TRANSFIXED in all space-
When his corpse was found strapped to the Helm!

Song of the River

Relentless, forceful, surging- goes the prelude
When I listen to the sounds
Of the Premier Western river, as it hastens ever seaward
On its annual cleansing rounds.

It has a duty, never ending
As it drives on to the sea,
To disperse the excess baggage
Which Living Things have caused to be.

How it sings about its’ seasons
As it goes about its’ chores-
First a whisper, then a babble,
Then a splashing along its’ shores.

Soon it’s surging, then it’s roaring-
As it widens in its’ prime-
Giving life to myriad creatures,
And a setting for a rhyme.

How it fits into the psyche
Of the artist on its’ bank-
Annual Rhythm, cleansing Ritual,
Life Renewal, Canyons dank.

But its’ Song is more possessing
For the Spirit of mankind
As it stimulates the Vital-
At the center of our mind.

No! The very Core of our existence
Which is very rarely struck,
Is soon singing with the River,
As our heartstrings get a pluck.

Finally, there’s a crashing- yea Crescendo,
As the cataracts soon give way
To the Bedrock of the lakebeds
Where serenity, as Life, manifests its final say.

San Juan River

The ghostly canyon walls so steep
Imbued my spirit, lacking sleep,
When the moon- yielding up its formless thought-
Gave hazy shadows (my attention caught)
On the waters (which they'd never keep).

Suffice it forever, now to say,
That those forms and shades that day
Would leave a frame of fantasy in my mind,
Which would never, never, e'er unwind
Till within the earth my soul they'd lay.

How soon my psyche quit the chase,
As the frames of thought did so erase
Those moonlit walls which took my view
And cast it far, but not askew,
To cause my heart to lose its' place.

But now those walls are far away
My heart has changed once more to stay
And so it seems ephemeral dreams
Are only mixed with common schemes-
To make the rainbows turn once more to grey.

A further introduction to the area is through its weather (this missive was penned during an AZ Christmas, to send to the hikers- compare this to a following one about Utah):

'Tis the Season to do Folly (sanitized)

'Twas the desert during Christmas, and all was deferred,
Not a creature was moving, not even a mouse stirred!
Down through the mountains, and all through the pass,
The calm night prevailed, 'cept for Donner’s belched gas.

I watched with amusement, with occasional cackles'
The scene in the desert, somewhat inhibited by the sheriff's new shackles.
The pack rats were carrying all the presents with glee,
'Specially the shiny ones, purloined from the tree.

The lynx and the bobcat were hot on his trail
And I suspect that ol' pack rat would lose a piece of his tail.
Further behind, and violently shaking his fist
Was the belabored gardener, who was thrown off the list.

He had hoped for Viagra, to raunch up the gopher,
So he'd work on the pussy cat- who was never a loafer.
But all he got was a handful of seeds-
Which upon closer inspection produced nothing 'cept weeds.

His fruit trees had been stripped of their produce that year,
By herds of omnipotent, free-ranging deer.
When he covered his thorns with rocks over mats,
He found this the perfect habitation for ground squirrels and rats.

With voluminous labor, he had covered his grapes
With great sheets of netting- many times he did traipse-
But the tiny green bird, which could climb through the web,
Ate them all very lustily- he could feel his life ebb.

His nuts- all his pecans- he had harbored them well;
The deer couldn't eat them- they were harder than hell!
But the exasperating grey jays, they had their own style-
They cleaned out the lot, carrying them more than a mile!

Whereas the desert had been reputed as a most fragile place,
After his appearance 'twas bonanza, for critters saying grace.
His melons were hollow, looking ripe from afar,
But the omnipotent gopher had bored 'neath them, 'thout leaving a mar.

His idyllic li'l plot, which promised independence,
Was reduced to black rot, after critter frequen-dance.
He then retreated to his hovel, where was heard his last whine,
Before he blasted all the critters with a remote-controlled mine.

The neighbors didn’t react to this with the greatest of glee,
At this act of self expression, in this land of the free.
So the sheriff soon appeared, just after forgiveness time-
Allowing the poor gardener access to the Barred of all rhyme.

So he gave up his thoughts of making great views
Of desert scrubland and raising fine brews.
He'd revert to enjoying and re-living the clean
Arizona-produced Christmases, through his cell window scene.

This was followed by Utah weather-inspired writings:

's tea's on, by Golly

It was blowing like Hell, and all thru the West
The weather was becoming altogether a Pest!
I pulled up my Bloomers, so delicate and fine
To avoid the wind's Rip-pence, sounding much like a whine.

They told me that Dixie was just like its name-
So warm (Desert-influenced), putting Northwest to shame.
But e'en before Winter, in fact early 'Vember,
I had put on four layers and stoked up the ember.

Hoping to take out the Chill, from this overbuilt house,
Which had shrunk ol' imported Rat, down to Kangaroo Mouse.
Evil Forces, from below, had shoved up a Range
With a name like Pine Valley- a Moniker so strange;

And when storms hit the crest, some two miles above-
They descended on my Homestead- entirely sans Love.
I now find that the Ancients weren't quite so Arcane,
When they plucked an appellation- now quaint "Hurricane".

I selected in mid-August, at heat one-one-seven,
This hotspot (like the Phoenix) which would winter like Heaven;
But now I'm soon getting a strong indication
That e'en before solstice, there'll be bone-ly vibration.

The Natives are inured to this Howling Sensation-
Considering it to be a most life-ly vocation;
But to my thin Dermis, most would agree
Utah's shrill Winds will not fill me with GLEE!

This was followed by an additional one about the hottest weather, the following summer:

Hurricane in Summer

I see from my magazine, that you are a-burning
A-burning my backyard, just a mile from my home.
Come stay on the back slopes, and satisfy my yearning-
My yearning to extract my house from the firefighter’s foam.

I thought to go natural, I thought to go free-
In Utah’s prime desert, in Zion’s bright scene,
Where the earth would speak frankly, and I could walk thank-ly,
While the soft breezes fanned me, over red rocks pristine.

But I hobbled most weakly- just as I strode weekly,
O’er conglomerate and sandstone, as followers would see.
My legs (76ers) were hospital fixers,
I was propped up so masterfully by the dispensary.

Serendipity has restored me- all my friends have deplored me,
They jeer from the sidelines, they point with great pride,
At my swaying torso, my waistline made more-so,
They hasten to note that my intellect’s no bride.

Soon, I’ll return gracefully, soon I’ll return true-
To the land of my Earth Model,
The great Fault I’ll again coddle,
Before reaching ambient temperature, ‘neath the skyline so blue.