in the unpeopled hall of canyon
auditions the scrabble
of sharp hooves on loose rocks falling.
Boulder banks chorus
the snowmelt rushes,
after locoweed blooms
act morning glory.

Rocky mountain ramshorns herald,
curl back by boulders
big as medicine balls.

By canyon wall - curtain boulder
big as house
marks hot springs pool,
ancient river bed from under risen.

Pool, glistens pyrite sand
at river end,
at fount comes out hot
over warm mud.

Grasshopper searches lay
of clothes on grass,
mud billows past heels,
little fishes - must be hot.

Sink down, lay alligator,
turn over belly up
stroke umbilical grit,
behind ears neck and bald head,

bare bottom molds mud to chair,
vapor from steam born deep
soaks nose,
hot handrubs chest hair.

When melted to all glow
hurry bones tween river stones
to swift deep narrow place -
Toes into river bottom,
hands over eyes go under.

Born cold eater burns too,
giant of river-born straddling
from the temple tears a wraith,
sends dirge to abyss tumbling;

as quickly the earthborn rises,
surprised at something,
ready to growl a panther,
call and Eagle,
twixt red and blue the clear light tingles.

© Carlton Godbold 1987

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