Beneath the Red Cliffs

by Thomas Davis

for April Chischilly

Beneath red cliffs as first morning light reflects fire
into an impossibly blue sky,
a Navajo woman, aging, calm, long black hair and black eyes
a part of high desert juniper and pinion trees,
walks as beauty stirs backwards and forward in time.

The medicine man in his Hogan’s darkness
sees a woman he doesn’t know through an ancient crystal
handed from medicine man to medicine man
through thousands and thousands of years.
He feels heart-strength, spirit-strength,
sees her facing what is beyond the light’s weaving,
her beauty-song echoing and echoing
into the song of women, the spirit of women
who have forever given birth
and lived through the everyday turmoil of everyday
without flinching, trying to find the courage that is who she is.

Courage weaves a blanket from light out of the woman’s heart
into the texture of red stone.
It rises from the moment when sons were born,
patience was worn away as dreams and hopes were deferred,
as self honesty penetrated weaving consciousness
that tries to protect itself in the interest of shuttling
strength and goodness into the sinews and spirits of children.
Speaking softly, singing beauty, the Navajo woman walks
beneath cliff fire ignited by first light
beneath an impossibly blue sky.

The Navajo woman walks beneath red cliffs
in an impossible blue sky
as first light sets sandstone walls on fire.


Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Beneath the Red Cliffs

  1. Reblogged this on Ben Naga and commented:
    A gem of wonder. Pause and penetrate to the Core …

    • I owe you a long email, Ben Naga. I keep meaning to write one, but have been so crazy busy lately that I don’t force myself to stop and take what would be an enjoyable stretch of time.
      I appreciate you so much, my friend and poet

  2. Simply beautiful, Tom. This is one I’ll return to, to read over and over. My new favorite of yours.

  3. I love the picture you have painted Tom of this elderly and dignified woman walking among the reds and blues of early morning.

  4. Haunting and beautiful, Tom. A poem, and a subject, worthy of your amazing talents. N.

  5. Elliot Skurich

    Hello Tom! Today, you came up in a conversation that I had with Ben Clarke in the University of Minnesota Medical School (I brought you up). If you have a chance, please call me at 218 726 8104 for a discussion into the gray area of the world. Thank you. Elliot Skurich

    P.S. Glad to see you are still writing!

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