Lava Beds (The Malpais)


Donald Levering

Pines and cholla
grow through this dark
stone ocean. Navajos say
it is a great pool
of dried blood
from a dangerous giant
beheaded by Twin Brothers.
The black rock draws
sun into its blood,
lava heaving for miles,
cholla and pines
feeding on that old feud.
& off in the rippling distance
how cool those shoulders
that have forgotten
in the snow.

From Outcroppings in Navajoland by Donald Levering, Navajo Community College Press.
© 1984 Donald Levering.