Terraforming/ Big Bend

This upcoming week I will be in Big Bend National Park in Texas. This place is pretty incredible — it is like you’ve landed on an alien planet with barren lands marked by wild rock formations. Red, dusty, beautiful. I’ve been here before and that trip inspired by poetry book, Terraforming: A Story of the Heart and Separation (which you can find at the bottom of groundedinone.com.) In honor of returning to this park, I’ve decided to post the poem that comes from my poetry narrative/book that is titled “Big Bend.” This piece fits into the narrative well, I think, as a way of describing the new planet the character in the book finds themself in. I hope you enjoy! Feel free to check out the full book in you are so inclined.

“Big Bend”

 I can hear it in the silence. The complete silence
 and its voice is timeless as it clearly speaks like how
 the wind brushes my feet-- its plans for me. Crazy
 how that happens right? When we finally stop
 being uptight and absorb the light from the sun and
 stars and really let it affect your heart. It speaks
 when we’re listening and when we think honestly
 and don’t go on into the dissonance, distancing us
 as our minds start soliciting the lies that ourselves
 are whispering.

 And the rock protrusions scream the glory of it and
 they’re like the planets’ hands outstretched in
 praise and I, in turn, am left in confusion and in a
 state of delusion but I come to the conclusion that
 these mountains leave it proven.

 The force that pushed these mountains together are
 great but a more creative and powerful thing is here
 and it creates the universe and dictates its laws and
 narrates our lives. It’s here and its creative creation
 is sweeter than any Shakespeare poem.

 Desert with the mountains outlined in black with
 the dark of night looking at light years away. My
 mother can’t comprehend the whole light year
 thing but my brother and I kinda think that’s the
 point. That there is no endpoint. That those stars
 and galaxies beyond ours that are cold and old and
 hot were brought into existence by the thing that 
 sought us. Its art work in the sky brings a sense to
 my heart that words can’t say or impart.
 Orion fighting Taurus in a story untold makes no
 difference to me but still takes hold of me and
 leaves me to behold this thing. M35 shining in my
 eye with multitudes of stars light years away in no
 way deprived as they thrive.

 The sunrise bright orange peering over the
 mountains across the roaming blue sky on the
 desert plains left me tongue tied and crying and in
 no way denying this masterpiece of creativity

 My soul is split like a river and the mountains that
 lean over both sides of the banks which were once
 one. I can’t help but think we’re the same,
 interlinked by the same ancestry. Disobeying the
 same law and held under another — our river is
 drying up and we are trying not to think about the
 end and dying, but we’re lying.

 The wind blew in tonight leaving a dust cloud while
 the last bit of ray piercing through the hazy sky
 dimmed the desert ground and I begin to look
 around and realize I’m no longer crowned.
 And you can make out the rock formations into
 elephants or lions or burros like the constellations
 and the stories that go with them but there is only
 one story that tells the truth…

Be free in the present,

Trace Maddox

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