by Brian Spears

Sing sandstone strata, erosion,
sere and serene. Sing wind
stripped layer and layer;
stone simplified to sand.
Sing cyclones in canyons,
American djinnis whirled
passageways thru rock
laid down, pressed thin
year, year, year. Sing umber
and sienna, sepia and ochre.
Sing copper and gallium,
molybdenum and potash.
Sing water undrinkable,
shade of a juniper bush.
Sing balancing rocks, arches,
chipmunks and a land
hostile to humans which we
insist ourselves into,
leave our marks on:
handprints in stone, a cabin
dug half into the ground,
roads and ranger stations,
bones bleached and crumbled.

BRIAN SPEARS is poetry editor of The Rumpus. His first collection of poems, A Witness in Exile, is forthcoming from Louisiana Literature Press, and his poems have appeared in Quarterly West, and The Southern Review, among other journals. He was a Stegner Fellow from 2003-2005 and currently teaches literature and creative writing at Florida Atlantic University.