Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, October 7, 2012

To Hear the Stones
after William Carlos Williams

by Emily Strauss

Silence is
a retreat of will
leaving behind
the city and flocks
going out to red
canyon walls
then no more road.
Rising at dawn's
thin moon, sheer
cliffs hold the night's
coolness, hear the call
of a lone canyon wren—
but where?
Ochres are bleached
by afternoon, the heat
rising in waves
the stream bed
littered with crushed
and the smooth walls
a hushed breath.


  1. A fine poem. I came back to it more than once to breathe in the sheer presence of its landscape with such power. I had a question though: is there room for a simple messed-up joe (human being) in such an awesome landscape?

    1. That's an excellent question. In my landscape photos there are seldom any people. Somehow I don't find that we fit in very much or very well, and when I venture out I try to be as small and quiet as I can, sleeping on the ground and cooking over a tiny stove. I watch people who may be missing a lot of it.