Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Cliff Dwelling
By John Gould Fletcher
From “Arizona Poems”

  THE CANYON is heaped with stones and undergrowth.
The heat that falls from the sky
Beats at the walls, slides and reverberates
Down in a wave of gray dust and white fire,
Choking the breath and eyes.        5
  The ponies straggle and scramble
Half way up, along the canyon wall.
Their listless riders seldom lift
A weary hand to guide their feet.
Stones are loosened and clatter        10
Down to the sun-baked depths.
  Nothing ever has lived here;
Nothing could ever live here:
Two hawks, screaming and wheeling,
Rouse a few eyes to look aloft.        15
  Boldly poised in a shelf of the stone,
Tiny walls look down at us,
Towers with little square windows.
  When we plod up to them,
And dismounting fasten our horses,        20
Suddenly a blue-gray flock of doves
Bursts in a flutter of wings from the shadows.
  Shards of pots and shreds of straw,
Empty brush-roofed rooms in darkness:
And the sound of water tinkling—        25
A clock that ticks the centuries off in silence.

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