Thursday, 23 December 2010


etched, fretted and millennia sculpted
worn away by a river’s rhythm
to immense walls and walls and walls and walls
russet, red, raw umber, brick, pink, salmon peach and rust
and the colorado, ‘coloured red’
we constantly marvel at the marvelous and grand
mentally dwarfed by strata to camp ants
turrets, mesas, spires, caves and citadels of lost hopi and navaho tribes.

rollercoasting we raft and rodeo roll each rapid
gripping oars
eddylines, boils, laterals snatch and catch
but we, we ride wide eyed the wavetrains
then float with rainbow party parasols
more colourful conquistadors than
intrepid explorers.

camp, dry heat, sand and cool shade
cold water and milky silt in chunky pails
tables and groovers
tinitus of cicadas drowns the white noise of water
while we sweat wet hot in tents
pipistrelles ride the moon’s playwaves
in the quiet time of desert dawn and night breezes
then we ride the river all again in sleep.

Written by Debs McKeown in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado,
August 2010

(Photos by the Brookes Grand Canyon Expedition team 2010).