Saturday, February 9, 2013

Age Six, in Colorado

The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton

               — Inspired by a visit to the Royal Gorge and Cave of the Winds

Fragrances of descent caress each moment with subtle steel 
as bitter-root coats mouth’s memory with frenetic flailings; 
I slip-slide into this valley vast with profundity. 

Skeletal spires brim, chaos concise as catalyst; 
each pinnacle, a deafening defeat by sky’s aspirations 
to keep separate the horizon from its ineffable realm. 

Maudlin foliage falls, askew, 
skirmishes sacrificed to winds wild with mourning; 
Winter’s furious approach is arbitrary in its wanderings. 
Its caustic wisdom chastises the remaining remnants 
and reminiscences of Summer, demanding surrender 
as beauty unbraids her hair, locks flowing as cumulus. 

There is a brilliance upon the bluff, august in its demeanor; 
a cavalcade of colorful rifts splits the mountain’s face 
with flowers too frail to endure ravages of Autumn’s first frost; 
yet, audacious in their casual assignations, 
they flout this treacherous trek with singular courage 
and grace, emphatic with inertia. 

A calamitous cadre of caverns are cached 
within this circuitous civilization, 
antediluvian with arrogance, 
considering their residencies of mere shadows;
they remain pragmatic in their approach, 
vicarious enclosures where lost stars may fall 
into slumber, bereft of time. 

I view these tattered photographs, 
and recall this visit to the Royal Gorge 
from childhood’s grasp of innocent reckonings 
as I perceive these final phases of my life; 

they span enormity as does this bridge, 
connecting what is apart from land.