More Poets, Fewer Lawyers…Poetry by Amy Brunvand

Cedar Mesa 

WHEREAS, Utah favors protecting the remarkably scenic, recreational, and sensitive  areas of the San Rafael Swell and Cedar Mesa areas, however the highest and best use of vast tracts of land in those areas is continued grazing and environmentally sensitive energy and mineral development  — SCR 11,  UT Legislature, 2010

If only there were less grass
Compromising the rocky purity
Of this empty desert
Where thin, ugly cows
From Pharaoh’s dream
Come up from the river
To graze among the reeds.

If only the unruly squawk of birds,combridge2-75
The random rush of wind,
Had a more steady dynamo hum,
A constant thumping beat
Rhythmic and pleasing
Drumming out an oily
Promise of plenty.

If only there were more roads,
Sidewinding dust snaking
Beneath speeding wheels
To coat our way of life
In grey soft-focus grit
This dry trampled sand
Would twist itself into a devil
And simply blow away.

The enemy ancestorsarch-glyph2
Abandoned their stone houses
Among these canyons,
gorges, mesas and buttes,
Their horned dancing devils,
Their shattered pottery,
We have no further use
For those discarded things.

Objects to be protected
Should be stacked in paper boxes,
Alphabetized in filing cabinets,
Given proper care and management
So that we may stand in silence,
With bowed heads and folded hands
By their lovely glass coffins.

We must not build BEARSEARS2
Staggering monuments,
No obelisks or shrines,
No feigned object
Pretending to Earthly paradise
In this forsaken antique land.
There is nothing here
We care to remember,
Nothing in these vast tracts
We could not put to higher and better use.

We must compress
This unnecessary scenery,
Squeeze it down
To the size of a postcard,
Stamp it, send it surface mail
To the overreaching bureaucrats
With a little white lie:
Wish you where here.




Amy Brunvand is a librarian, writer, and part-time nature mystic from Salt Lake City, Utah.  She agrees with Edward Abbey that the environmental movement needs more poets and fewer lawyers (even though some of her best friends are lawyers).



Accompanying photos by Jim Stiles.

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3 comments for “More Poets, Fewer Lawyers…Poetry by Amy Brunvand

  1. Timmy
    June 1, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    yay more poetry, please!

  2. She Hiker
    June 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Bravo! Keep Ms. Brunvand’s poetry coming please … it adds so much wealth to an already rich publication. Thank you!

  3. jack hays
    June 12, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Speaking as a poet myself, Amy is, without question, one is one of America’s greatest poets. But unfortunately few people outside the “environmental” movement are aware of her!!!!

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