sycamore canyone wilderness

Two rivers meet

in a verdant pocket

of high desert ranges

where javelina roam and eagles hunt.

Beside the Sycamore Creek

we step through the soft red silky

sand –

a potter’s powder.

Southwest wind had whipped

the cliffs to dust.

Lulled by seductive babble,

 warmed by the deepening

canyon floor,

we cross rocky uncertain trails

in search of cairns to guide us.

Each step brings promise

of a deep cool pool around the bend

of the crimson canyon wall.

That paradise comes into view:

an eighty-foot sheer red rock rise

to a patch of periwinkle sky.

A late day sun hones its beam

upon a lone prickly pear,

an isolated yucca.

That is all

to view on the barren wall

as shadows fall.

Waters deep in canyon heat

anchor this mountain retreat.

I doff my socks and feel it soothe

my searing feet.

We have found Eden–respite before

we slowly trek the rock-padded path

out of Sycamore Canyon.


      Gail (Sept.’09) says, This poem comes from such a memorable and beautiful hike in Sycamore Canyon near Sedona – actually accessed from Cotton-wood, sixteen miles southwest of Sedona.  We drove over wash-boardy roads for nearly ten miles to get the trailhead. Lo and behold, it was so crowded in that

out-of-the-way wilderness, it seemed as if the hikers were having a convention there.”

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