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Issue #24, Canyonlands, Island in the Sky, and Arches, Utah, Maarch 25-29, 2002. The Pack Creek Ranch was our base. Haiku and photographs by Jonathan Machen.

boulder, ten-fifteen
ice on highway ninety-three
we head for utah

deep relaxation
comes with the unfettered view
the desert in spring

wanting to go on
or stay and do a drawing
my big dilemma

my sense of purpose
dissolves into the timeless
erosion of rock

this well-used bike path
obliterating the fine
cryptogramic soil

absolute silence
until the four-stroke engine
penetrates the air

people on their bikes
in the middle of nowhere
i can hear them yell

who knows what damage
the many thousands of jeeps
have on the desert?

an icy march wind
disrupts spring tranquility
i long for my coat

bmx rider
blows by me with his air shocks
like i'm standing still

this sandstone kingdom
began life at the bottom
of an ancient lake

complete exhaustion
is my ultimate reward
for climbing this peak

for a brief moment
i entertain the notion
that i might be lost

above the plateau
i find winter solitude
white, instead of red

nothing but the rocks
and the sky to remind me
of my place on earth

waiting for the rain
and the waxing of the moon
to burst into bloom

difficult to tell
what is near and what is far
island in the sky

cannot comprehend
evolution of arches
with my perspective

their voices echo
an unfamiliar tongue:
torists from japan

not without distrust
they keep their new mercedes
hidden from our view

vibrant orange lichen
lit in a neon circle
against the sandstone

the jeep jamboree
brings to the vale of moab
a million jeeps

absolute silence
except for the erosion
of millennia

everything at rest
except for the slow churning
of plate tectonics

geologists know
plenty of obscure details
that i gloss over

a chance to explore
and hang out with the family
good combination

she had a meltdown
a complete, utter meltdown
because of scissors

long since recovered
from the tears of the morning
she helps grandma bake

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen