Saturday, May 10, 2014

Recapture Pocket

In 1983 running coach, Fred Maas, his son Dan and I ran the canyon country of Southeastern Utah. Sometimes we ran barefoot, camping under starlit skies. Once we outran a flash flood and often we swam across canyons where when there was no other crossing. I found the collar-bone of a ground squirrel beside a turquoise pebble. Cows bawled in the sage when we passed and everywhere there were ancient signs of the Old Ones. The oil and gas pumps seemed so incongruous, humping and pumping night and day. After a while we did not look at them, and it was as if they were not there. I wrote some of Meditations with the Navajo at Recapture Pocket and the canyonlands around it. Even back then there was a haunted sense of old enmities at Recapture Pocket, a feeling that some bad things had happened there long ago -- battles not found in history books. Yes, we were running on sacred ground yet three barefoot runners might be excused. But not vehicles, and certainly not oil rigs. You could sense something more was coming. Thirty years later it is here. But back then ...

You see eye to eye
under water:
          men of the maize
            in their
maze of stone:
men of the wolf
           in their
ruff of fur.