Tuesday, 9 January 2007

On flying over Arizona on a clear day: a sonnet

What ancient chaos thundered here?
What waves rage-clawed these rocks for a thousand million years,
Before subsiding with a hiss?
What formless deep lurched up and tore the earth,
Peeling back her skin and baring every vein?
What gods were hurled here flaming from the sky,
When these charred and bloodied plains were rent and stained?
What giants crossed these mountains,
Shaking the deep, and scarring jagged footprints in their wake?
What waters surged and boiled,
What Spirit brooded here at the beginning?
And when this Canyon – ah, my God! –
When some dread hand reached down and carved the Canyon,
The angels hid their faces and fell down.

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