Tall, it stands
arms stretched, twisting
an octopus conductor
the chorus waits upraised below
a mute desert moment
I put the punch line in the title, but it’s a phrase I really like and want to remember.
I was in the car with my family heading down to White Rock via the truck route (Pajarito Road is closed to keep us all safe) and I noticed at the tops of the cliffs on both sides of the road many, many precariously balanced rocks. I was filled with my boyhood urge to watch those rocks crash with great energy and dust into the canyon below. Just look at them. They’re about to let go. It’s only a matter of time.
There used to be rocks like that hovering over the cliffs behind my house and the houses of all my friends. No longer. By the time I was ten, tipping big rocks off the edge was a hobby. Some required muscle, some required leverage, some even required cleverness. Eventually, with a rumble and a boom, the rock would fall. The rock would have fallen sooner or later; entropy demands it. We were entropy’s little helpers.
All I can figure is that the Anasazi weren’t such big fans of crashing rocks, or they wouldn’t have left any for us. Makes them seem… inhuman.