LONG HOUSE VALLEY POEM - Arthur Guiterman Poems

 
 

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LONG HOUSE VALLEY POEM

                                                                         the valley is in northeastern Arizona
                                                                    where one of the largest power centers
                                                                               in this hemisphere is being built

Sheep and woman.
The long brown and red land
looming unto the horizon.
                         Breathe in so deeply.

Tsegi,
a canyon.
"Hello" and "Goodbye,"
but always Hello
and smile.

The old rocks, millions of years old.

A Mohawk camper trailer
pulled behind a big white Cadillac.
Tourists,
the crusaders.

A cop car
flashing frenetic orange.
Slowwww down. I can't
even remember my license plate number.

And then, suddenly
the Peabody Coal Company.
Black Mesa Mine.
Open pit.

Power line over the Mountain,
toward Phoenix, toward Denver,
toward Los Angeles, toward Las Vegas,
carrying our mother away.

A sign reads: Open Range.
Bulldozer smoke and dust rise
from the wounded Mountain.

A PLAGUE ON ALL YOUR DAMN HORSEPOWER
A PLAGUE ON YOUR KENNECOTT COPPER BLIGHTS

The old rocks, millions of years old.

Horses grazing, quietly.
A skinny black one throws his head
at the sky, at the wind.

The Yei
and hogans and the People
and roadside flowers
and cornfields and the sage
and the valley peace,
they are almost gone.