Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Poetry Jam - Red Rock Nightfall

Red Rock Nightfall

We were warned about scorpions sensing our warmth
But still we headed out to that desert tower.
I could not get over the sense of space as we climbed
Over tables and shelves of red rock around dusty
Columns and up through smooth chimneys until -
We found a large table that faced the western sky.
A sky that stopped my heart for one brief second
That made the world swirl round that sun in a spiral of
Red and purple cloud striations that bled away from the sky
Down through the dusty desert air and into the rocks around us.
Not a soul in sight - the only sound was our breathing.
Our cameras hung idle and we sat down - hard
And just like that the sun, too fell hard behind a line
Of sand and rubble that went grey and then indigo.
The stars blinked on and on and on and as I looked
The sky became the heaviest blanket pressing us
Back, back toward the flat tabletop on which we sat.
I found myself lying there lost in the sheer numbers
Specks of light and bright gleaming dots, constellations
Taking form with such size and definition -
All against this fuzz of light from millions of stars.
We settled flat against the rock and felt the desert dust
Settle over us and the night press down with a weight
That pushed our souls outward and upward.
I thought what a glorious end it would be
To be fossilized like that scorpion I’d seen at the museum
Pressed into the rock by the desert dust, the indigo night
The stars of the ages,  the cold passage of time.

Poetry Jam - this week we think about the word 'rock' ... 

 'Free verse may be written as very beautiful prose; prose may be written as very beautiful free verse. Which is which ?'  

- John Livingston Lowes


  1. oh wow...beautiful...would love to be there to see it....would be an a peek at red rock in a U2 video i that was awe inspiring...

  2. I have just read this amazing poem three times. I love it! Your 'words push my soul inward and outward' .... indigo night ... and the image of being pressed into rock, wonderful! Susan, may I print this out and put it up on our poetry board in my book store, giving you credit, of course?! Thank you for the beauty today.

    1. I'd be honored, my poetry friend ... thank you for asking and thank you for your kind comments!

  3. After reading it again, I see that you said, 'pushed our souls outward and upward' ... but your poem pushed mine inwards and outwards simutaneously, which is a glorious thing.

  4. quite an experience..
    and you have helped me make my mind up: not cremated nor buried, but fossilized... perfect :-)

  5. Susan, I agree with Aprille, Nana Jo and Brian ... an immensely satisfying read. :)

  6. Wonderful tribute to those beautiful desert rocks Susan! And to the stars and those indigo nights. Indeed to be fossilized under those skies would be an honor!

  7. What a breath-taking experience!

  8. Specially love the last 4 lines ~ What an experience ~ Terrific write ~

  9. Pressed into the rock by the desert dust, the indigo night
    The stars of the ages, the cold passage of time

    Rocks can sustain itself in form and in all manner of shapes. Fascinating, Susan!


  10. The cold passage of time - excellent line and powerful. Really well done

  11. This is stellar with stunning images especially "The sky became the heaviest blanket pressing us" the dark skies here are like a blanket! Thanks for sharing this and have a lovely day!

  12. Stars in that area are something undiscribable but you caught the feeling nice words!

  13. Adding a trip to the desert to my bucket list - to see those stars and feel that blanket of a sky sounds like something that shouldn't be missed!

  14. Susan, this is glorious!!! You did an incredible job of describing how those places and moments fill you with wonder and joy. I love this:-)

  15. Wonderful poetic prose, so descriptive, full of vivid imagery and felt emotion, too. A fabulous write! :)

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  17. Susan ... I feel like I have just been on a trip to the Southwest ... a stunning poem ... time for a road trip ... always wanted to,go,to Sedona!