Sunday, August 30, 2009


From the top of
Thompson Ledge
looking down on
my house, barn,
and fields at home.
The one closer.

Thompson Ledge
Our refuge.
Our escape
from the troubles
escalating screaming
curses of parents
and endless work
at home.

We ran.
We skipped.
We climbed
to look beyond
our petty world
to look
into distances
and dream
of far-off places
and kind men,
gentle women,
only read about.

Our eyes reached
beyond mountains
into cities of
civility and
lawful sanity,
not knowing then
we dreamed.

We dreamed.
Vistas remain
and remind us
to keep
on dreaming.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


In the distance is the
Henry Mountains,
in between
the canyons and
rugged sandstone ledges
that cut through
the land from the
Escalante Rocks.

It's a view that
staggers the mind
stretches the eye
beyond and beyond
to cover the eras
when wind and water
cut through time
and earth.

I am a speck upon the land,
a living speck.
strong and real
part of it all.
The wind makes and takes
my breath.
I make my way
along with a million
others here on earth.

My life is mine.
Vistas open before me
and I choose
what way to go.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


We came to Darlene's
80th birthday party
rode down Alvey Wash
to discover Redman.

He has been here
a thousand years or more
painted by Anasazi
who walked the rivers
poked holes in the ground
to grow wheat or corn
didn't have horses
painted the ledges
made arrowheads
and stone grinders
lived and breathed
now dust

80 years slip by
we try to leave our mark
words on printed page
paint on canvas
clay sculptured
some way to make
an imprint
of passing
and share our
lives with those
we leave behind

the paintings left
the words and thoughts
that touch our hearts
make us mindful
of gifts yet unreceived

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kanyonland King

Least I forget my name...
not Mountain Woman...
let me show you Long Canyon
found in the Circle Cliffs
going north of The Gulch
where I ran the Wild Steer.

My sisters and I hiked
sandrock ledges
found caves and
climbed into canyons.
We escaped flash floods
and rolled rocks off peaks
expored Indian artifacts by
finding arrowheads and
stone knives along narrow

Today, I still love to
escape into the canyons
looking for gold hidden
by outlaws or Aztecs,
discovering another deep
gorge or hidden wonder in
wild flowers or strange shapes,
feeling the wind seeking
my spirit, or the rain
washing it clean,
always amazed at our
passing on this land.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Lulinda came on a quest
from the sea side at SF
to the mountain King's Pasture
to replenish her spiritual soul.
I joined her when she came by...

She traveled the earth...
long, hot, hours through
the Nevada desert..
The changing redrock colors
of homeland Utah,
to the quakies and pine
on mountaintop.
I joined her there.

We sat by the fire
growing calm with the flickering
glow of embers and the past,
although warned of
forest fire in the dry grasses
by my always aware
mate and drenched it
when we felt renewed by the glow.

Forest fire smoke filled the
valleys between here and there.
Visibility clouded, but morning
brought a blue, blue sky
and clean, fresh, pine soaked air.
We breathed and breathed
soaking sun.

I dreamed that LuLinda should
put her hands in the mountain
spring's cold, cold water.
Her hands are numb.
She dreamed she should put them in
the salty Pacific.
We dreamed
and drank the fresh, spring water.

Earth, Fire, Water, Air
We embraced the moment
Lulinda dedicated her land
to the great spirit of all.
So others could come, renew
in this same way back.
To know we are part
of it all...

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Daddy came in the night before
hot, dirty, vile-tempered
after two-weeks gathering cattle
down 'Below' - Circle Cliff area.
He didn't speak.
My girlfriend and I
scurried out of his way.

Morning, he yelled upstairs:
"Girls, come'on.
Get the horses.
I'll take you to The Gulch.
I want you to bring in
the cattle gathered there."

He jumped the horses
into the powewagon,
instructed us all the way,
backed them off on a bank.

"Go down The Gulch
until you find them, and
so I have to go back and look for them.
Follow the canyon
and take them up the trail."

"What trail?"

"The cattle trail to Deer Creek.
Christ! Don't be stupid.
The cows know where to go..."
I'm supposed to let the COWS
find the trail?

The Gulch,
a deep, twisting canyon,
sandstone wall rising
to blank out the sun,
corralled them.

Old cows and steers scrambled
to their feet and began to
move, lowing.
Out from the bushes
came a huge, wild steer.
Its horns long and sharp,
a wild, crazy look in its eye.
It was a wild one that had
been chased for years.

He can't mean
I've got to bring

It took off up the canyon,
running crazily over bush and tree.
"Bring the others." I shouted.
Whirling, I raced after it
on a dead run.
Up the canyon. Turn.
Down the canyon. Turn.
Up. Down.

Maurine, trailing cattle
missed the trail
dragging them all after me.
I whirled back.
"Chase this one." I screamed.

She took off
on a dead run
leaving me to find
the lost trail with a herd
of thirsty cattle.
One of the old cows
remembered the trail
and headed home.
I followed, pushing the herd.

We traded. I ran the wild steer
then she did for what seemed
like hours.
The cow herd moved slowly,
munching on grass.

The Wild Steer suddenly
turned up the trail
and pushed into the herd
his back a foot higher
than the rest.

"It's a wonder I'm not dead!"
Maurine groaned.

We moved the herd
on toward Deer Creek
as it was turning dark,
only half way home.

The cattle were trying to lay down.
"Well, at least we've run
that monster to death.
He's acting like the rest."

"Oh no," I groaned.
"It's Daddy. We should
have been home hours ago
and we're barely to
Deer Creek."

"Where in hell have you been?"

"We've been chasing that steer
for hours. Up and down.
Up and down. He wouldn't come."

He stared at it, astonished.
"My Gawd, we cowboys have been
chasing that steer in the Gulch
for eight or nine years,
and a couple of snot-nose girls
brings it in."
He shook his head in wonder.
"I can't believe it.
Why in hell didn't you leave it
and get along home before dark?"

"You told us not to lose a cow."

After being on exhibit
at the corral,
the steer was killed.
The head stuffed.
My dad carried it wherever
he went, wherever he moved
until the day he died.

He bragged about his girl
bringing in The Wild Steer.
I was not proud.
That wonderful steer
no longer ran free.
My fault.
All I had to do
was let it go.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Royal Bull Elk

I've seen elk before
but not a Royal Bull
six points on each side
On our way to the cabin
to paint.
it's the odd happening
a coyote seen or
heard yapping,
a herd of deer,
a mother with two
baby fawn,
a flock of wild turkey,
fat, brown, scurrying
Rock Chuck
a brown bear
that makes the trip
so endlessly fascinating.
There just around
the bend..
a new experience.
I hold them in
my heart, marveling
that something
grips me
once more.