BY JAN HAAG

POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO




RIO GRANDE

It could end a hundred other ways besides
calmly conjoining, each far worse than
another to con-
template:

Under the breeze in the trees, in the quaking
aspen, high in Colorado's hills,
a river begins,
flows south.

In New Mexico they still speak Spanish flu-
ently, frequently the fathers speak
no English, have pi-
ety

and opinions, strong opinions, convictions
about God, penitence, enforced by
guns and vicious chil-
dren. Jus-

tice in their hands does not come under the law
of the land. The Sangre de Cristo
mountains shed blood o-
ver the

tillers, the toilers who have nothing; but faith
that God's suffering is their right in
the knife-sharp, ice-like
air. They

crucify one of their own, each year. So it
is said. And the kids wear bright tattoos
across their chests: "Born
to Die"

and force motorists over the edge of cliffs.
Lacking motorists, they challenge each
other, riding bi-
cycles

into ether. Sometimes coming back crippled,
sometimes not at all. As for the cru-
cified, they put his
shoes at

his front door. And return to time and vio-
lence, wresting with souls in the dark night
under old ado-
be walls

or tin roofs or diamond-cutting-heart-deep stars,
draining blood through interior crawl
spaces of sorrow
and se-

dition. When they have gone, what will it matter?
Christ's blood will be propitiated.
Truth will be as the
truth was.

The river cuts cataracts, flows placidly
under the cottonwoods, gurgles with
the wind, flows from the
mountains,

spreads across the plains, dissipates in the gulf,
joins the salt in the sea, cachinnates
up into the bright
blue sky.






Copyright © 2000 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jhaag@u.washington.edu




OTHER POEMS ABOUT THE PEOPLE AND LANDSCAPE OF AMERICA

Arizona Desert

Challenger

Cicada

Confidence

Doris, 12/20/97

Dour, 12/12/97

George Coluzzi

The Great God Leshikar

I Am Innuit

Potlatch

McDonald Observatory

Stonecypher, 10/24/97

10-33*

Two Tomatoes

The Woman Who Had No Necklaces





BY JAN HAAG


POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO



21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context