Philip Wright – High Plains
This is the land of the Indian Paintbrush,
a place with more centuries than the days
At sunset there falls onto this land
a wonderful desolation.
Slanting sunlight turns arroyos to black
currents in a sea of tall, yellow grass,
and gold dust swirls on silver winds
to weave the strands of night.
It is a glimpse of eternity:
a coveted moment of awareness between
the Within and unconfined Beyond.
I sit high upon an outcrop pondering
a death worth mentioning.
Not long ago across this vast plain hunted men
touched by the pathos of their quarry.
With ritual and travail they purified themselves
in preparation of the chase.
For in the dark reality of life eating life
the blood of sustenance must be cleansed
They hunted in awe.
They killed with remorse.
And they celebrated success with thanksgiving,
not to God,
but to the animals they killed.
Then came a migration of humanity
disconnected from earth,
singing the metaphor of Genesis,
and taking what cannot be owned.
These also hunted.
But there was no reverence in the eyes peering
over the white man’s rifles.
The migration continues with an army
They shoot from trucks into herds
of confused antelope.
At night they lift a beer and toast the hunt.
But no one speaks of the young doe
gut-shot and running until tripping
in her own entrails.
Lying now in the dust.
Gone with the sun.
Date: November 24, 2012
Categories: Philip Wright