Stone That Leaps: A Utah Sequence by Christopher Cokinos

Photography by Stephen Trimble

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Stone That Leaps

A Utah Sequence


Torrey Black RidgePreternatural strands,
the gesture of reaching.
Held as earth, just so.




The raven’s gurgle
is a cat with wings, purring
quick to canyon echo.




Cold, full moonrise framed
by Partition Arch.  Portals
to fins, mesas, dusk–




Bushtits.  Then thumper
trucks?  Thus an arch: silent.
Erosion’s revenge.




I am 43.
Birthday moon, cold wine, firelight.
Stupid smile!  Years of this!




Ravens tumbled as
I set up the tent, missing
you, the moon a blue juniper berry.




Mormon tea,
like crinoid columns
of a former sea.




And sandstone’s slow cascade:
This place.
Lifted, cracked and stilled.




Wind-drift sand, sunlit:
How to make eons,
stone that leaps.




To thought’s last thought:
Balanced Rock:
Wisdom’s cairn.





Stone That Leaps: A Utah Sequence
Photos by Stephen Trimble

Click any image to view slideshow with captions:



Christopher Cokinos is the author of The Fallen Sky: An Intimate History of Shooting Stars and Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds. His lyric essay collection, Bodies, of the Holocene, is forthcoming from Truman, and his poetry chapbook, Held as Earth, from which this poem is taken, is forthcoming from Finishing Line. He has poems recently in The Volta and Sugar House Review.

Stephen Trimble has published more than 20 award-winning books as writer, photographer, and editor. He lives in Salt Lake City, where he teaches writing in the Honors College at the University of Utah, and in the redrock country of Torrey, Utah, where he wanders the back country with his camera. Stephen’s website is www.StephenTrimble.net.

Read Chris Cokinos’s essay “Night at the World’s Largest Atomic Canon” in Issue 24 and Stephen Trimble’s photo essay “Devil’s Bargains” in Issue 23.

Terrain.org is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, artwork, case studies, and more since 1997.