A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2007, vol 3 no 1

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Robert Hecht

Blackened Walls

Snow falls on yellow aspens. A hawk’s cry echoes as I descend the steep rocky trail into Walnut Canyon. Anasazi land. I thread between rough rock walls and twisted junipers down to the first group of stone buildings nestled into the side of a cliff.

Blackened walls tell of centuries of cooking fires. The cold of the stone pulls me back through time and I glimpse the humanity of those who lived for thousands of years in balance with their environment. What would they think of us?

At a wall of petroglyphs, some defaced with graffiti, a group of tourists arrives. A boy spots the petroglyphs and graffiti, and shouts, “Look, Indians were here—and people too!”

ancient canyon
the sound of time
flowing downstream