Northwest of Page, Arizona

This cold desert drowns in rain. The heat wave vanished, as clouds come strolling in over the Paria desert, just northwest of Page, Arizona. Water pelts the ground, breaking up the hard dirt. Thunder gallops across the vista, and the wind wails. Lightning flings its arms. In a pinion tree, sits a raven waiting with his head bobbed down. He’s dangling like a Christmas ornament. Water droplets fall from his folded wings, and from his dark tail feathers.

Under an alcove, I wait out the storm. Long ago, ancient Puebloans were hunting and gathering beneath these skies. I could just imagine them traversing up flashflood washes, where white caliche grows on rocks and tree branches, along Cottonwood strewn riverbanks that flow from sandstone canyons.

The raven ruffles his feathers, then flies from the pinion, landing on the ground 10-15 yards away. The little fellow just stands looking at me. Maybe he wants something to eat? I say nothing at all.

His shiny feather coat is perfect. Everything is black. His long beak stays closed and humble. By sage brush and wavy grasses, he rests. Letting the windy valley around, swallow him. Soon he squats, and bows his head falling asleep like a chicken at roost.

The desert is warm colored; dark red sandstone, deep purple clay, orange-pink cliffs, and yellow-tan mesas. The raven is surrounded by all these colors. Together they communicate the deepest message to my heart, that the beauty of this land is forever magnificent and rugged.

1 thought on “Northwest of Page, Arizona”

  1. Dear Nate,

    Please forgive me, but I can’t believe that you’re just a little ripe old 22 yo!! I thought by the way you wrote that you were at least 50!! I always though that you must have been an Elder to me. Imagine my surprise when I found out that you were so young, and that *I* am the Older one here (I’m 46).

    For you to write the words that you do at your age is incredible. Whenever I read your writings/poems, it makes me feel as if I’m right where you were, when you wrote them. I think I would love to see the desert sky — it sounds dreamy.

    I would want anyone who reads your work to know that you are truly a gifted and talented person. I believe that you have been given a gift from the Creator and that the writing that you do should not be taken lightly. Please do not ever stop writing, unless the time comes when it is deemed for you to stop.



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