Into Another Time: Grand Canyon Reflections West End Press, 2004

The Lens Frames this Image

The lens frames this image
then lets it go
as I slowly sweep walls
that move in the opposite direction
faster than my camera
can do its work.
Panning space but also time:
centuries of buildup,
millennia of sedimentation,
uplift, intrusion, deposit,
erosion, faulting
and the shudder of tectonic plates.
I want to hold the shadow
of an instant gone
two hundred million years ago,
its movement
playing across my line of vision.
I would register this shift of earth,
the roar of boulders
hurtling down a tributary,
the power of pink granite
slicing schist.
I know the camera keeps out
more than it lets in,
obscures more than it reveals.
Only when I lower the Nikon
and free my eye
does light explode
in that crescent of rock,
will darkness creep up
from the deepest slot,
walls claiming one color
and then another
until full circumference
whispers the password
and I move through.