Ave Coyote

With the ravens,
one thousand feet
above the meander
of the mother river,
surefooted on slickrock
unhindered by rain,
we strain at the edge,
ears funneled, peering
into the lapis mist
as it trails, a veil
sedately sweeping
across miles and epochs,
condensing, careless
of our joy, into a
soft, yipping chorus
of bright canid cries.


This happened several years ago — when we were spending much more time on the Arizona side of the Colorado Plateau — but a photo of the Bend happened to trigger my memory.  (This was not the photograph we took — that’s on slide film yet to be digitized — but it is pretty damn close, so thank you Kritterspix!)

What I didn’t capture in the poem was the fact that my partner-in-disappearance and I were sharing this chill, rainy vantage point with about seven stalwart German tourists (in their adorable matching yellow rain ponchos) who had all picked the same day to visit this majestic but lamentably well-known locale.  I vividly recall the moment when their incessant chatter faded, evaporating mid-air like virga.  Even they fell stumm under the touch of that eerie, merry, skin-prickling canyon benison.

10 thoughts on “Ave Coyote

  1. This is beautiful and I’m glad everyone descending into the peace of the moment. Your final lines are like the very song;
    ‘condensing, careless
    of our joy, into a
    soft, yipping chorus
    of bright canid cries.’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SSSSHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! You are in the presence of the spirits of the Eagles, you need no words, just your eyes and your mind, then let your soul free to be lifted high with the fingers of the……………..breeze.
    A scene that is millions of years old and still a work in progress.X

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sunni!

    Sorry I haven’t written in a while. Truth be told…nothing has happened in our lives to talk about! I really like your poem and tried to set it to Schubert’s tune but it just doesn’t work (except for the opening Ave Coyote!)

    I hope you wintered well once you got past your Xmas malady! I liked the reference to ‘virga’! Nobody knows what virga is unless you work for the weather service or an airline!

    Stay well and don’t let election politics get you down!




    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doing my very best with that, Giacomo, and staying healthy *finally*! Hope you’re continuing to savor the fact that you can simply enjoy weather for its own sake and not give a damn how it affects anybody’s flights! ^_^


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