September 9, 2003

Road Trip Reports: Near Moab

20th Century Kiva in Southeastern Utah

by Gary Snyder

There is another world above this one; or outside of this one; the way to
it is thru the smoke of this one, & the hole that smoke goes
through. The ladder is the way through the smoke hole; the
ladder holds up, some say, the world above; it might have
been a tree or pole; I think it is merely a way.

Fire is at the foot of the ladder. The fire is in the center. The walls are
round. There is also another world below or inside this one.
The way there is down thru smoke. It is not necessary to
think of a series.

Raven and Magpie do not need the ladder. They fly thru the smoke holes
shrieking and stealing. Coyote falls thru; we recognize him
only as a clumsy relative, a father in old clothes we donít
wish to see with our friends.

It is possible to cultivate the fields of our own world without much thought
for the others. When men emerge from below we see them
as the masked dancers of our magic dreams. When men dis-
appear down, we see them as plain men going somewhere
else. When men disappear up we see them as great heroes
shining through the smoke. When men come back from above
they fall thru and tumble; we donít really know them; Coyote,
as mentioned before.


Out of the kiva come
masked dancers or
plain men.
plain men go into the ground.

out there outside all the chores
wood and water, dirt,
wind, the view across the flat,
here, in the round
no corners
head is full of magic figures ó
woman your secrets arenít my secrets
what I cant say I wont
walk round
put my hands flat down
you in the round too.
gourd vine blossom.
walls and houses drawn up
from the same soft soil.

thirty million years gone
drifting sand.
cool rooms pink stone
worn down fort floor, slat sighting
heat shine on jumna river

dry wash, truck tracks in the riverbed
coild sand pinion.

sand dunes
the floor of a sea once again.

human fertilizer,
underground water tunnels,
skinny dirt gods,
grandmother berries,
through the smoke hole.
(for childhood and youth are vanity
a Permian reef of algae,

out through the smoke hole
swallowd sand
salt mud
swum bodies, flap
to the limestone blanket ó

lizzard tongue, lizzard tongue

wha, wha, wha flying
in and out thru the smoke hole

plain men
come out of the ground.

Posted by Vanderleun at September 9, 2003 6:26 AM
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