on visiting the grand canyon (poem 2060512)

it was a cute mnemonic to remember
how the grand canyon was formed
over millions of years

DUDE–deposit, uplift, downcutting, erosion

standing at the edge
(there are very few places with rails)
you can see the strata where layer upon layer
settled in an ancient ocean
each line is an ancient mouth whispering

how many people go over the edge?
(i hear the question, and voice it myself)
a dozen on average in a year
usually someone trying to get a good photo

but it is the whisper, you see
we’ve done it all for you, is what it says
taken on the burden of it all
and you can just let go

8 thoughts on “on visiting the grand canyon (poem 2060512)

  1. I have a distinct memory of visiting the Grand Canyon as a kid, maybe 35 years ago, and having frightening thoughts about what would happen if I dropped my camera…which of course wasn’t really about my camera at all.
    The build-up and the last stanza–perfect.

    1. Thanks so much. I saw an awful lot of people who were not afraid of going over the edge at all. Ah, youth!

  2. one of my flaws as a photographer is that under no circumstances will I go to the edge in the quest for the good photograph.

    the last stanza takes a haunting turn, throwing something more than just poignancy into the matter, that “whisper” — i’ve heard it — with that invitation that seems all to inviting.

    1. I guess it’s always there, but so much more poignant when faced with something immense and beyond the scope of our comprehension.

  3. I’ve heard that sinister whispery voice before…. Then I eat cake, and it goes away. 😜
    Loved this one. Please sir, may I have some more?

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