#137 What the Ancient Ones Knew by Gayle Lauradunn

Petroglyphs in the rock:
a woman balancing a world

in each outstretched hand.
The worlds spin in place.

She stares across
the valley  at winter peaks

floating in clouds. A small
smile lightens her face.

Her feet ground the earth.
Her head grazes the sky.

To her right side coyote tosses
the moon off the end of his nose

and barks at the close of night.
As the hot sun dries  her face

the woman moves her left hand
forward and offers me a world.

“Here,” she says, “let it spin.
It will weave its own fabric.”

(above based on a petroglyph in Bandelier N.M., published in Mother Earth: Through the Eyes of Women Photographers and Writers, A Sierra Club Book, 1992)

Gayle Lauradunn served on the Selection Committee for Albuquerque’s first Poet Laureate. She was the co-organizer of the first National Multi-cultural Women’s Poetry Festival in 1974. Her poems have been published in Adobe Walls, The Rag, Puerto del Sol, Zone 3, Tsunami, and others. Several poems have been adapted  for stage.


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