I stood on the rim of Blue Mesa,
With the hot desert wind in my face;
And I gazed at the great Painted Desert,
Surely nature’s most colorful place.
This was no land … lush and verdant
With green fields, and rivers that run;
A land painted red by the twilight,
Then to silver beneath the full moon.
I thought of other great wastelands
Where the stately saquaros grow,
And the billowed dunes of White Sands
Where the gypsum crystals blow.
I visioned the lands in the distance
With its mountains and canyons so deep,
And enchanted desert valleys
Where the Navajos watch their sheep.
Then I turned and walked o’er the mesa,
Through the strangest of all desert shrines,
And I paused by the agatized remnants
Of the great Araucarian pines.
It was then that the winds of the desert
Seemed to whisper their secrets to me,
And I knew that this land was once covered
By a great prehistoric sea.
The waters receded … then forests
Grew there … in the ages gone by;
Until the earth crust upheaval
Thrust the Rockies up to the sky.
The great forest giants were buried
Thus millions of years to remain;
Till Nature’s great force of erosion
Exposed them to light once again.
Milleniums passed like brief moments
As the earth was shaped to God’s plan.
How great is the patience of Nature
As compared to the aims of man.
In dreams I return to Blue Mesa
Like a prospector searching for gold,
For I love the great desert God painted,
And the petrified monarchs of old.