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Gregg Murray

Plates 1-4 of the Wheeler Photographic Survey]

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From Camp 7 the rock fonts a furled mushroom fire] It's all so flamed out and gabled with waning weed]

River's holding low] Stabled the boat come nightfall on the skin the tongue of sand] You must remind yourself on the wet road how this Black Canyon mines through desert]

You you don't thirst] But you make all the motions so immediate with your wanting] Pebbles just tufts of grass you reckon]



If you mined the Bull Run district Nevada did you sweat through the cold and come

shift's end give up your gold to the cleanest hand in the outfit] Gut smile be my redeemer]

One peak down O'Sullivan had about 10 seconds to find the tent or it wouldn't turn out] No time for taking it in] Exposure in the air quick and dry and high]

Peaks been snowed on] Streaks of black pine the hue of the bare mountain patchwork that stumbles along the ridge] Or the sickly shadows of typecast timber] But did you see it]

I'm shakin a sieve to beat the grainy palsy] Sky above me lessen your thunder]



Below Big Horn Camp the Colorado don't move much] Least not at noon] The peak line cuts into a law abiding sky] Citizen empty handed for the craggly face its appeal to alms]

Farewell to it then] In this image you ignore the blackened rock where the wet shrugs off to] I know there is nothing beyond it] Beyond that there is more nothing] But beyond that you partake in dice play]

I seen that too] And now you would cut a man to ride Black Canyon alone] And now the beachside sage is stark] And now through the bend the reflection gives way to scrape to cave to ledge to sky]

Where's your money Quebracho] Your horse he looks spooked] Where's the money you had yesterday]



The Black Canyon opens into a scythe a blade that sliced out a sibling] A sister] You would stand along the flattened nose and wonder whether to hazard your last biscuit to make the vista more level]

My stomach can hear yours] But there is another stag to settle] 13 miles and sterling beyond a sauntering murder of horse rustlers] His can openers cook in the open sun just splash-washed with that same river]

Don't step in it twice hombre] You'll know his burn when his gait shows uneven]

And this sun's mild gout won't pass but it's calm near Camp 8] Snap the shutter]

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