HOWARD McCORD: POETRY & PROSE
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POETRY | POEM 14 |
The Rim of the Great Basin
 

Q. What is the holy power of the wilderness?
A. The holy power of the wilderness is innocence of man.

     -----The Catechism 

Darkness is another kind of light,
and stones are sweet as air to breathe.
In the depths of canyons
for a thousand years, the unlocked
the rocks themselves and slopped
inside like bones fit into skin.
They watch as the bristlecone
pine signals form the ridge,
and know how flames leap from
flint and steel.
The bighorn desert sheep nests
like a bird above the falling land,
unseen by man, and mountain boomers
play their cylindric minds
on the silences which are wisdom.
Canopus hangs like a breathing eye
in the arms of the pine, and the long
interchange of their awareness
is the heart beating at the core of everything,
a music of smoke and crystal, an impenetrable
language shaped out of time and the graceful,
falling curve of space between them.