View

City of Rocks
City of Rocks, New Mexico

High in the rocks,
in the wind,
surrounded by long
stretches of far desert,
we find a place
to sit above the trail.

Sun covers this haven―
stone desk,
grass rug, rock walls,
boundless blue ceiling,
a look-out.

Boulders, twenty feet tall,
stand on their heads,
feet in the air,
seemingly dropped here
by an unseen hand.

Stones, carved and pitted
by wind and rain
tell ancient stories
reaching back
millions of years

when all this land
was lake-river-sea.
When I lay my ear to stone,
the sound of water rushing
below.

Above, a hawk
rides waves of air,
black-tipped wings angled to earth,
showing us what it is
to be free.

As he rights himself,
we regain our fragile balance,
walk among the rocks,
feel the our hearts leap―
from earth to sky.

Elise Stuart


“View” was written after spending a day at City of Rocks, almost an hour away from Silver City, where I live. Finding a sheltered place to sit and write, taking in everything around me, wondering how these mammoth rocks came to be in the midst of desert, this poem was born.


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