Friday, 23 of February of 2018

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer – From These Headwaters

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer uses poetry to help the reader reconnect with the natural world.

She has written and edited nine books, some of which are: Intimate Landscape: The Four Corners Region in Poetry and Photography, If You Listen: Poems & Photographs of the San Juan Mountains.

Her poetry is also in anthologies like, What Wildness This Is: Women Write About the Southwest, The Geography of Hope: Poets of Colorado’s Western Slope and Improv: An Anthology of Colorado Poets.

Every silver-crowned wave on the San Miguel River
angles southwest toward the sea.
As one crest surges, succumbs to the next,

their thin gurgles merge,
rise into the white roar of rapids,
like distant drumming or laughter.

Just as each wave vanishes, one into the other,
the San Miguel disappears,
losing its name once it joins the Dolores,
River of Sorrow, which marries the brown Colorado.
The waves do not care what we name them,
the water knows only to jig till it adds its bright voice
to the thunder of tide, to the echoing bass of the surf.

But six dams, six systems of droning turbines
overwhelm the river’s hum:
Glen Canyon, Hoover, Davis, Parker,
Imperial & Laguna,
siphoning 90 percent of the flow,
wet giggles stifled into flaccid, slack water.

Shriveled, the river at last makes the delta.
There is no surging anthem of wave greeting wave.
The water greyly seeps into vast flats of silent mud,
barely bleeds beneath islands formed by
shells of dead clams
and cannot muster enough volume to meet
the salt sting of the sea.

Is it from mercy or misery that the Gulf of California
forges an inlet to fill the river’s vacant bed?
Now that the voiceless Colorado can’t reach the ocean,
the ocean swells and flows upriver instead.

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
August-September 2002 Earth First!


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