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Rooted Places

Carl Ginsburg*



I sit in the cave kiva,
high in the pumice wall
of Frijoles canyon.
My children
full of fractured energy
run above
whistling, shouting.
I am a resting cat.
A peaceful wind
Slides through the piñons.



Jemez Pueblo during the faced paced
buffalo dance. C. worries that we
anglos are too conspicuous. I am
captivated with eagles, deer men
with sticks for legs, horned heads,
drums, the fast beat of thongs.
I laugh with the pueblo man
who asks me to dance. I am not
a dancing man in this place



The haunting, high light of dusk
     & the red mountains of
                    Jesus' blood.
I stand differently on
          this ground.
I sink my toes like roots,
the last piece of the sun
     sink below the sky.



Climbing the boulders up the steep
     Rozemiento canyon,
sliding through sharp needles of
     prickly pear, Spanish bayonet,
I see Ladron Peak, Mount Taylor,
     the Magdelena Mountains,
the round butte of Cabezon,
     miles of space between.
There is a joy that
     I am not here by trade or tradition.
Red-- ruddy faced from sun and wind,
     I do need a mountain in my yard,
a tree in my head. I love
     the flame that licks my foot.

I am a dancing man in this place.



*2009 WOOD COIN: Religion, Spirit, Prophecy/ Issue: Ginsburg, “Rooted Places”