By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes
A diamondback stream
winds out of river scales
where rainwater ran off trails
stripping vegetation from roots
Debris kneels into rocks
damming what should have been
swept to sea
The high watermark
ordained by hanging branches:
crosses in oak trees
where death’s procession passed
pushing hikers deeper
into coyote’s cloister
The canyon’s vow of silence
broken by weathered men
speaking Spanish in the El Cuervo
Captain Ruiz’s descendants
soaked to skin
beneath non-indigenous brush
Rancho Santa Maria de los Peñasquitos
from the valley’s palisades
Captain Francisco Maria Ruiz received the land grant for Rancho de los Peñasquitos.
The “El Cuervo,” was the addition of land Captain Ruiz sought from the governor because he couldn’t get crops to grow on his original land grant.
This poem first appeared in the Magee Park Poets Anthology 2014
Copyright Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes
Will Falk says
It’s great, Ish.
I love this Geo Poetic Spaces series. Another way the land is speaking…
John P. Falchi says
This is an interesting poetic video about an encounter with Penasquitos Canyon!
Jay Powell says
Marvelous wonderful multi media reflections of clouds in this little oasis in the midst of suburbia encroaching, peering over the crest, not even a few feet of respite. No, you have to look at me look at you wandering along in this last vestige of water winding down under the interstate dodging the mountain bikes zooming around corners. Millions and millions of dollars made on the adjacent ticky stucco and shingles ticky tack perched on canon’s rim, sucking up kilowatts and sending effluent to a pumping station that stops and overflows yuck into the lagoon (whoops). But at least the adobe and the fields and some water and native vegetation remains and struggles its way down to the lagoon. Did you hear the bird call in the video? Now tell us, who is that little critter crying hello or help or love me in this of the last narrow ribbons of riparia?