Kiva and Sipapu

A tabled mountain, sagebrushed and green,

shoulders above the vacated plain.

Gambel oaks and pinyon pines

intersperse with golden-eye and mahogany.

entrance to Mesa Verde National Park

And on the far horizon,

a rock shaped as a ship floats on a sea of clouds.


A lane of rabbitbrush and primrose

leads the traveler to an overhang.

And below Suibhane’s feet,

an ancient cliff dwelling.

Long House

Having sculpted nature

from nature’s carved face,

ancestors abandoned these ravines,

but left their trace.

Bone tools, hide scrapers and awls,

arrows and stone knives.

Basketry and fired pottery,

mundane artifacts of bygone life.

And on the far horizon,

A shiprock sails on a sea of clouds

solar calendar

Solar circles were their calendar.

Sunken kivas proved them civilized.

Passage of the sun over many moons,

700 years crystalized.

family meeting place

Basket makers to cliff dwellers

to masons of a palace kingdom.

Kiva squatters and sipapu emergers.

Ravine spiriters and Pueblan Ancestors.


And on the far horizon,

Shiprock crosses a cloudy sea.

All these mysteries overwhelm

and spirit the imagination.

All the clues were hastily left here,

yet only the enigma remains.

It is a place of fire-hearth and ritual.

It is a palace of life and of burial.

It is the resting place of kiva and convergence;

of sipapu and emergence.

In the words of Acowitz,

Ute descendant of these people:

“It is always heart rending to discover a kingdom.

But to leave one be, in peace, is a warrior’s wisdom.”

Step House

And on the far-view horizon,

Shiprock sails on a sea of clouds

Shiprock....New Mexico

a poem by John Syron

after fire, life
wild mustangs on the mesa
Helaine and Sheryl ....fellow travelers to Mesa Verde
Autumn's Premonition, San Juan Mtns.
Telluride Basin
Telluride vendor, and ski run
mountains south of Ouray
along the Mears Highway
Red Mountain District silver mines
neat gift shop. Silverton
The Animas River, east of Silverton
campground below Molas Pass
Molas Pass
Aspen Glory


Created with an image by Christiane1956 - "shiprock new mexico indians"