Monday, March 11, 2013


a shadow passes
over the ruin’s face
rising up canyon walls
toward the Old Ones’ eyrie

the kiva ladder
my wish
to enter the spirit hole
still deeper into the earth

drifting up
a thousand feet
the echo
of a flute-player
carved in stone

a sun dagger
pierces the spiral
written in rock
our deepest desire
to grasp what flows

never touching
the earth
among the grave goods
a pot of ancient chocolate

due north
toward origins
the road ends
in shattered pottery
clay returns to earth

Atlas Poetica 13,  Fall 2012

This tanka sequence emerged from a trip to Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) sacred sites in the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States.  The archaeological sites, located in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, included Mesa Verde, Hovenweep, Canyon de Chelly, Chaco Canyon, Salmon Ruins, and Aztec Ruins.


  1. you sure can write stunning sequences of your travels. my v. favorite line, by the way:

    a pot of ancient chocolate

    1. Thanks, Janet! Archaeologists did find a pot of chocolate at one of these sites--a sacred drink, then as now!