Our Wonderful World: The Grand Canyon

Mary Lee Hahn is celebrating National Poetry Month by celebrating “Our Wonderful World.” Each day, Mary Lee is writing an original poem in honor of either a man-made or natural wonder. Today’s wonder is the Grand Canyon. I have rafted down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon twice, so I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to write a poem about my experience.

We have hundreds of photos from both of these trips, and I kept a journal during each trip. I have shared memories of our adventures in the past, Lava Falls and The Legend of the Sanpodohavatulli Expedition. Before attempting to write this poem, I reread my journals, skimmed through many of the pictures, and jotted many notes. But this poem did not come easily. I didn’t know where to start. Then, after listening to Christopher Leheman’s Teacher Poets online workshop this morning, it became clear that I needed to focus on a small sliver of the entire trip. Our hike to Deer Creek was one of the most memorable, so I focused on this beautiful side canyon.

south rim 2

The Grand Canyon

From Yaki Point on the South Rim,

the majestic sun-soaked sandstone

is on full display,

the river a ribbon of green a mile below.

But travel deeper,

into the heart of the canyon

to Deer Creek.

Climb the steep trail,

into the slot canyon behind the falls.

For eons, 

this stream

has carved the soft rock

with a sculptor’s precision; 

finding each chink and crack,

washing the sediment away,

grain by grain,

shaping each sensuous curve,

creating this hidden oasis

where today I soak in a clear, cold pool,

immersed in the wonder of it all.

© Catherine Flynn, 2014

deer creek falls
Deer Creek Falls

            deer creek falls 001   slot canyon

Thank you, Mary Lee, for inspiring this poem!

8 thoughts on “Our Wonderful World: The Grand Canyon

  1. Your poem and pictures give me goosebumps — this looks just like the entrance (miniature version) into Petra!

    It’s fun to showcase the power and “create”ivity of nature after so many human creations. Thanks for joining in!


  2. The form of this poem, instructional, led me on the path with you to Deer Creek. For eons, through time, then to touching your toes in the water. A wonderful journey. Thanks for sharing. That must’ve been some session yesterday. After all the Easter festivities, I’ll try to grab some time to watch it.


  3. Wow, your words are so descriptive but yet they are also enhanced by your photos. Love this part . . .”this stream has carved the soft rock with a sculptor’s precision;
    finding each chink and crack, washing the sediment away, grain by grain, shaping each sensuous curve,. . .”


  4. Beautiful description of such an amazing wonder. Nothing like seeing it in person, but your words craft the experience almost to perfection! Beautiful work.


  5. I found this post and love the thoughts. I hope to travel to the Grand Canyon one day. You made it sound so wonderful. Love this line: “with a sculptor’s precision” and others too.


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