Chiricahua National Monument at sunset

One Poem by John Willson

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Big Balanced Rock

Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona

Precarious comes to mind, its Latin
root in prayer.
Sixteen tons, like a spinning
top in silhouette, rest on a point
inches in diameter, shouldered
by a column.
You behold such poise,
remember how you lose
your head at the drop
of a hat.
One breath, you think, breath
held between gusts up the canyon.
Wind, ice and water lathed rhyolytic tuff
down to the present moment,
on which the balance
of your life




John WillsonJohn Willson is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize and awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Artist Trust of Washington. His full-length collection, Call This Room a Station, was published by MoonPath Press in 2020. A two-time finalist in the National Poetry Series, John lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, where he has been designated an Island Treasure for outstanding contributions to arts in the community.

Read more poetry by John Willson appearing in two poems and two poems.

Header photo of Chiricahua National Monument by Laurens Hoddenbagh, courtesy Shutterstock. Photo of John Willson by Luciano Marano. is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, art, commentary, and design since 1998.