Of what use are 40 freedoms without a blank spot on the map?
Some will come to explore. Others cannot imagine it more than a dusty, barren desert, perhaps worth squeezing for a few drops of oil. That’s about all the arrogant and privileged oligarchy calling the shots right now in America will get: there’s no known mother lode of extractable wealth they are being deprived of, even as they lie and squall like soiled and spoiled babies wanting their sister’s lollipop. Bears Ears will be here, both mother and mystery, when the last American demagogue has been ground to dust, victim of his own insatiable greed.
The earth will survive human foolishness, no doubt, and so will these serpentine stone poems of the living earth. But … what about us? I offer a prayer: may Alanis Obomsawin’s warning shake us from our stupor in time.
“… The most affluent of countries operates on a depletion economy, which leaves destruction in its wake. Your people are driven by a terrible sense of deficiency. When the last tree is cut, the last fish caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.”
The canyon thirsts for another rain
One that cuts it deeper, crafts its character.
Life in the canyons depends on it.
The tribes originated in this water-cut marvel,
the gift of life from Gods and Goddesses engrained in mud.
From the time humans first began forming words,
the Bears Ears have been growing.
Sacred twisted trees, ancient and wizened by lightening,
dance and whine on stony battlements,
the storm-sculpted sandstone fringe
of forested glades housing the mother’s animal offspring.