I made my first trip to Palo Duro Canyon in 2012. It took a long time to get here, having been introduced to its existence when I was studying the work of Georgia O'Keeffe in college. I learned yesterday that a poem I wrote about the canyon has won First Place in Poetry in the Press Women of Texas Communications Contest. It appeared in the 2014 Texas Poetry Calendar published by Dos Gatos Press.
PALO DURO PALETTE
I expected the summer-seared red clay,
the smattering of October’s gilded leaves,
the cedars’ great dark thumbprints on the rises
of the land
but not the splashes of ochre that jump
at my eyes; some look as though a giant Pollock
has come by and slung a mix of Mars and
Hansa yellows on the slopes’ surround,
followed by a fling of sheer chartreuse.
Others appear geometrically designed,
inlaid bands colored carefully
within invisible lines.
The ochre sings out—loud.
I feel it wants to taunt the bold blue sky,
intimidate the red majority of land.
Not Rothko, Hoffman, or Gottlieb
ever threw such curves at my gaze.
Photo and poem copyright Ysabel de la Rosa, all rights reserved.