FINISHED IN BEAUTY, A Poem
This one of the first poems I ever had published.
I read a very fine thriller by Martin Cruz Smith called Stallion Gate that evoked the landscape of the American South West in a vivid and moving way.
When I visited that part of the world later, it exceeded all my expectations. I think the American South West is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
This poem was inspired by the landscape and the sense of thousands of years of human history that it has absorbed.
FINISHED IN BEAUTY
Once I was a Navajo
sparing of sounds,
pursuing with mystical stamina
spoors invisible except
to a hard-educated intuition:
here ran a coyote, there a deer.
I heard the beat of wings
of a flying snake who whispered
secrets of sickness and health.
I walked where the sun judges
water, blood and bone
with rock-splitting authority.
I watched the heat ghosts
dancing on the mesa,
bloodstars in the corners of their eyes.
Who will buy my pots,
or my blankets, bleaching out
in the living sun?