Tag Archives: Grand Mesa

Christmas Day: Sledding on the Mountain

by Thomas Davis

 We drove Grand Mesa’s unpaved, snow-packed roads
 Around its hairpin curves until the banks
 Of drifts were high enough to stop the plows.
 Grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins slammed
 Car doors and shouted so their voices echoed off
 The slopes and cliffs that soared into the sky.
 Then “food enough to feed an army,” sleds,
 Toboggans came from car trunks as the day’s
 Festivity spilled out into the winter cold.
 My Dad and Uncle dug into the snow
 To make a fire with driftwood, branches found 
 Down in the canyon as we’d driven by 
 The stream that gurgled songs beneath the ice.
 Then, looking down the road toward a bank
 That lurched uphill before a hairpin curve,
 The oldest of my cousins laughed and jumped
 Onto her sled, her head downhill, and slid
 Like lightning flashed into a coal-black sky:
 The slope so steep she flew, the hill of white
 A half mile down as solid as a wall,
 The road beneath her hard and slick as ice. 
 Her mother, Aunt Viola, laughed to see 
 Her fly toward the snowbank wall as I
 Could hardly breathe to see the tragedy
 Unfolding as the sunlight glared into my eyes.
 My eyes began to hurt.  She had to crash
 Or slam into the wall of snow so hard
 She wouldn’t be my cousin anymore.
 But, as she hurtled down toward her doom,
 She dragged her legs behind the racing sled
 And turned the blades before she hit the hill,
 And everybody who had come to watch
 Began to yell when she rolled off the sled,
 Popped to her feet and shot her arm into the air.
 When, after other cousins dared the hill,
 I hesitated, swallowing to see 
 The downhill slope, my younger brother jumped
 Ahead of me and joined into the fun.
 I stood above my sled and felt my heart
 Quail, staring down toward the distant bank
 That still seemed solid as a concrete wall.
 I froze and couldn’t move until my Dad, 
 Behind me, got me on my sled and pushed
 Me off as cold and snow and light became
 A blur of flying, flying down the road.
 I flared my legs behind the hurtling sled
 And tried to slow down as I turned the blades,
 The running sound beneath my stomach, snow
 A cloud of ice as I rolled off the sled
 And came up, sunk in snow up to my hips,
 And shouted with my arm up in the air. 


Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis

From the Slopes of Grand Mesa

a photograph by Ethel Mortenson Davis

From the Slopes of Grand Mesa


Filed under Art, Ethel Mortenson Davis, Photography

Wild Turkeys in a Field

a photograph by Ethel Mortenson Davis


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Photography

Grand Mesa Lake-Colorado

a photograph by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Grand Mesa is the largest and highest flat top mountain in the world. One of its characteristics is that it is dotted with hundreds of lakes that sparkle in the sun.


Filed under Art, Ethel Mortenson Davis, Photography

Cryptic Moon

A sonnet by Thomas Davis

The moon rose over Grand Mesa’s dark blue rim
dark red, a presence hanging ominously vast
above our heads, the hills around us, dim
from fading light, now eerie, light recast
into a land of shadows burned with burnished red
that made the piñon’s stillness bristle gloom
and rocks elongate as they shined and bled
across a landscape rising toward the moon.

We walked, hand clasped in hand, our love intense,
into the weirding light, our senses shocked
by how the day had disconcerted sense,
transmuted time, the spirit of the rocks.

We walked in silence as the red, red moon
compressed to gold, then silver, a cryptic rune.


Filed under Poetry, Thomas Davis