Three Attempts

by Bruce Holsapple

Walked a scrawny trail thru
the grass & trees east
from Carizzozo Canyon
searching for Grapevine Spring
a beguiling name, given
the scant rainfall here
& to learn why that watershed
pours north rather than west,
like related dry washes do

As I hiked the brush deepened
fought a way out, twigs snapping}
my face, sweat in my eyes
stumble forward, gain ground,
but it’s a whole lot of work
to look where it is
you’re headed

or for that matter
where you’ve been

spot the lighter green
of cottonwoods, so there’s the spring
no grapevines to be seen
scuffle about, hoping to strike
a trail that goes
up & thru the mountains
the possibilities of selfdefinition renewed

Hillsides, rock outcrop, cactus
who knows what you’ll see
atop this particular rise
(probably another peak to climb
just out of view )
a landscape inhabited
“one step at a time”
there’s always further to go
one more chore

Why’d it take me this long
to figure that? O because youth
has no obligations
save what’s imposed
no inborn need to carry thru
There’s what you get away with
then get carried away with

Or stumbling up a rocky mountainside
almost ankle deep in stone, tufts of grass
still brown, although the rainy season’s started
sky overcast, the temperature
a dry 80 degrees
not easy or beautiful
but a heightened state for sure!
follow a wayward arroyo
see where the elk & deer go
how the trees spread
depending on drainage
feel the depth, wherever it lets you in
Wind swirling thru here a thousand years
find myself riveted
tracing the changes back
discover the flow of the land
the watershed & view