Grand Canyon

Raven guided me to this spot –
flying along the cliffs as I approached,
tree-sitting, waiting while I dined.

I’m five thousand feet above the river.
A whole day to climb down to the Colorado,
or I can fly.

I’ve chosen the Fleet-80 first.
A three-sixty check, nose in the wind,
full throttle, stick back – Earth-free!
Level off over the canyon –
instantly I’m five thousand feet in the air –
set trim for gradual dive.
I gasp at the intense red rocks,
and speckles of trees.
I inhale the pinion pines, ponderosa pines.
Mesquite send giggles through my nose.
Clear air - blue sky with just a wisp of cirrus.
Level off, tip to the left.
Red buttes jut up at me,
pointing to Raven overhead.
My ears begin to pop.
Banking right to follow the river –
a green anxious ribbon, foaming at its bends –
I see seven mules carrying their passengers
laboriously for the hundredth times,
plodding along their narrow, switch-back path.
I fly closer to the canyon walls
beholding cotton and juniper trees,
ground squirrels, and mountain goats.
That earth-cave, over there, is pre-Hopi.
Millions of years for the Colorado to dig this ditch,
and here I am at this point in time.
What will it be like in another million?
Will reincarnation allow me to see it then?

The Fleet centers on the Colorado –
too narrow for a landing.
I’ll follow her beauty until I ascend.

I’m off again on a hand glider,
soaring with Raven...
Her real beauty is in the silence.