Sunday, August 16, 2015

Velardena Sunset / Grace Hazard Conkling

Velardena Sunset

From “Out of Mexico”

When I saw the hills before dawn,
They were of the texture of thin gauze —
The sky shone through.

Now they are molten hills.
Like metal on the lip of a crater they palpitate and change,      
Radiant, volatile.
The iron ravines flare and glow;
Scarlet lava brims the arroyo channels;
Overflowing in rivulets
It glazes the flashing sand.      
Caverns, purple-dark a moment since,
Are boiling cauldrons of light;
They seethe under a primrose vapor.
There are no shadows anywhere;
Only undulating ridges of flamboyant copper,      
Boulders of brass,
Precipices dripping hot gold,
Incandescent peaks that quiver upward
And hiss at contact with the sky.

Can these be the hills I saw hanging like pale rose gauze
Against the door of the dawn?

Grace Hazard Conkling (1878-1958)
from Poetry, April 1917

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

Grace Hazard Conkling biography

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