Dear Zion Canyon

Dear Zion Canyon,

This is just to say thanks for Patriarchs

and peregrines, for rock-carved skies

and angels landing in your clouds;


for hanging gardens climbing through

Navajo sandstone, for maidenhair

wreathing through your river’s writhe;


for staircases stepping down from Bryce:

a paradox of deserts, floods, droughts,

and terraces that end without a thought;


for prince’s plumes and penstemon,

for the checkerboard I scaled as aspen

jittered gold in this early frost;


and, most of all, for straightening my bent –

the hazard of my poet’s mind – to wrest

a narrative from your lyrical intent.



Previously published in Gnarled Oak.

From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin has published poems in more than 125 journals throughout North America, Australia, and the UK. She is currently the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly: journal for global transformation. Find out more at