Mark the the tall pale stalk
Of a spent yucca:
Are these its last lines of praise
For the land where it stands?
Above, the yellow pine
Sighs with the deep gratitude I feel
As wind vibrates
Its long-needled vocal chords.
Below, in the canyon,
Slabs of pale sandstone tilt sunward.
The fault line that lifts them
Carves a long notch into the mountains beyond,
And drives a crack
Through my imagination.
A thin bright stream shapes the stone
With tumbling grains of sand.
A pinon tree lifts hidden water
Through roots, up its trunk, through needles,
And into the air.
This is the silence of the centuries
Between the last earthquake and the next.
No less alive than I
Is all I see, and the ground on which I stand.
Can I stop long enough
To catch the heartbeat of this earth?
See a recent article by Diana Butler-Bass refuting conservatives’ charge that a “war” is being waged on religion in America.